Napa Valley Life Magazine - Best Of Napa Valley 2022

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BEST OF 2022

PLUS+

Jean-Charles Boisset: On Track to Preserve Napa’s History Fairfield/Suisun Valley: Savor the Unexpected Syrah: Napa Valley’s Secret Treasure

BEST OF 2022

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Contents

F E AT U R E S 2 0 2 2 / / T H E B E S T of N A PA V A L L E Y I S S U E

32 Cover Story

Jean-Charles Boisset: On Track to Preserve Napa's History

36 Annual Best of

Napa Valley Readers Choice Awards

82 Seeking Syrah

Napa Valley's Secret Treasure

96 Fairfield /

Suisun Valley

Savor the Unexpected

N A PA VA L L E Y L I F E M AG A ZINE

BE ST OF 202 2

PLUS+

Jean Charles Boisset: On Track to Pr Napa’s Histo eserve ry Fairfield/Su isu Savor the Un n Valley: expected Syrah: Napa Va Secret Treasu lley’s re BEST OF 2022

BEST OF 2022

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NVL contents

D E PA R T M E N T S 2 0 2 2 / / T H E B E S T of N A PA V A L L E Y I S S U E

NV Scene • 14

22

What's Been Happening Around Town

Things To Do 20 Calendar of Events 21 Inside Track: What the Locals are Doing 22 Get a Taste of Napa's Burgeoning Beer Scene 26 Experience the Magic of Napa Valley's Mustard Season

What’s Hot • 28 Special Features 75

tlas Peak- Discover Its A Natural Beauty and Outstanding Wines

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eyond the Valley: B Arizona's Verde Valley

Drink

Wine & Winery Spotlights 62 Forthright Winery 64 Kukeri Wines 68 Rocca Family Vineyards 70 Prolific Beverage 74 Kazumi Wines

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Winemaker Spotlights 66 Tony Arcudi of Arcudi Wines 72 Miguel Caratachea

Eat 89 Napa Valley's Best Tacos 92 Napa Valley Lobster Co. 93 Napa Wild 94 Cooking with Karen Crouse

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Real Estate 100 Napa Tracy Style: Bid to win in Today's High Stakes Real Estate Market 102 Deborah Hanson with RealtyOneGroup

People & Art 104 Vincent Thomas Connors

Shop Local 106 Sound Advice

Money & Wealth 108 Merrill Lynch: Have You Saved Enough for Future Healthcare Costs?

Dining Guide • 110 6

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104


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NVL editor's letter

The

Results Are In H

appy New Year! As in years past, Napa Valley Life dedicates the first issue of each year to celebrate the best of Napa Valley through our Best of Napa Valley People’s Choice Awards. It’s always exciting to tally the results of our annual readers’ survey and reveal their favorite places to eat, drink, shop, and play. We hope you enjoy perusing this year’s list as much as we do and that you have an opportunity to support and congratulate the winners-- some who you may already know and some who will give you cause to discover something new.

Our cover story featuring Napa Valley’s newest pioneer, Jean-Charles Boisset, is the epitome of the best of Napa Valley. Jean-Charles fell in love with Napa Valley when he visited the Buena Vista Winery at the early age of eleven. Over the years, he recognized the American wine country’s legacy was fascinating and inspiring, igniting an affinity for leveraging the past and writing a chapter for the future of Napa Valley. Since acquiring Raymond Vineyards in 2009, Jean-Charles’s passion has fueled his mission to restore and preserve some of Napa Valley’s most historic treasures, including the iconic Buena Vista Winery, the Oakville Grocery and founder’s home- 1881 Napa Museum, the Calistoga Depot, Elizabeth Spencer Winery and the Ink House, a collaboration with his wife, Gina Gallo. Learn more about how JeanCharles is unleashing his passion for restoring some of Napa’s rich history with his unique touch of je ne sais quoi. For the oenophile, we invite you to read our special feature about Atlas Peak, one of Napa Valley’s most renowned appellations, known for its natural beauty and some of Napa’s most outstanding wines. Syrah is the star of this issue’s varietal series, indubitably one of Napa Valley’s lesser-known varieties and local secret treasures. Finally, for the wine country adventurer, don’t miss our features on nearby Fairfield/ Suisun Valley to savor the unexpected among its wineries and places to visit, or take a trip to Arizona’s Verde Valley to explore the nuances of its youthful terroir and aromatic wines. Thank you, our readers, for your dedication to our publication, your thoughtful inputs to our annual survey, and endorsements of Napa Valley’s award-winning wineries, restaurants, and local businesses. Your support is indeed a cause for celebration. Photo by Bob McClenahan

Laura Larson Editor

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CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Derek Wright PRESIDENT Kevin Evans CREATIVE DIRECTOR Erin Hayden Seal EDITOR Laura Larson laura.larson@napavalleylife.com

1300 1s t #385 s tree t napa, ca 94559 (707) 501-4444 eikosnapa.com

Take Out - Curbside - Delivery

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• •E• Y T• •H• A Nel KebYra Oti U ng N A P A ea V Ars LL

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ONLINE EDITOR & SOCIAL MEDIA Jackie Cyr jackie.cyr@webmediagroup.com ADVERTISING/SALES Doris Hobbs – 209-207-4876 doris.hobbs@napavalleylife.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Fran Miller Laurie Jo Miller Farr Layne Randolph Elizabeth Smith Marisa McCann Valerie Owen Melissa Vogt Jess Lander CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Art & Clarity - Lowell Downey and Janna Waldinger Bob McClenahan ABOUT THE COVER Jean-Charles Boisset at the Calistoga Depot Cover Photo by Lowell Downey- Art & Clarity

Napa Valley Life Magazine is published six times a year. We have four quarterly publications and two annual publications. 1370 Trancas Street # 770, Napa, CA 94558 Copyright 2021 by Napa Valley Life Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication maybe reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Subscriptions

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You were made for more. More closeness. More love. More joy. And that’s why our conveniently located clinic in Napa offers more ways to care for you at every stage of life. From primary care and oncology to heart care, gastroenterology and more. It’s easy access to our trusted, compassionate experts, so you can get more out of life, today and for many years to come.

For an appointment, call 707-253-1135 or visit AdventistHealthStHelena.org/NapaClinic Adventist Health Physicians Network - Napa 1100 Trancas Street, Suite 250 Napa, CA 94558


2022 Napa Valley Wine Award Winners WE ARE EXCITED TO RECOGNIZE THESE LOCAL RETAILERS AND RESTAURANTS FOR BELIEVING IN THE PROMISE OF NAPA VALLEY THROUGH THEIR OUTSTANDING SELECTION OF NAPA VALLEY WINES 12

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THANK THANKYOU YOUTO TOTHESE THESEBUSINESSES BUSINESSESFOR FORSUPPORTING SUPPORTING OUR OURLOCAL LOCALWINE WINEINDUSTRY. INDUSTRY.PLEASE PLEASEJOIN JOINININSUPPORTING SUPPORTINGTHEM THEM THE THENEXT NEXTTIME TIMEYOU YOUDINE DINEOUT OUTOR ORBUY BUYWINE. WINE. RETAIL RETAIL SHOPS SHOPS CALISTOGA CALISTOGA Cal-Mart Cal-Mart Calistoga Calistoga Wine Wine Shop Shop ST.ST. HELENA HELENA ACME ACME Fine Fine Wines Wines Gary’s Gary’s Wine Wine & Marketplace & Marketplace Safeway Safeway St.St. Helena Helena Sunshine Sunshine Foods Foods OAKVILLE OAKVILLE Oakville Oakville Grocery Grocery YOUNTVILLE YOUNTVILLE Kelly’s Kelly’s Fuel Fuel & Provisions & Provisions Ranch Ranch Market Market Too Too V Wine V Wine Cellar Cellar Wine Wine Country Country Collection Collection NAPA NAPA Back Back Room Room Wines Wines - Wine - Wine Store Store & Bar & Bar Benchmark Benchmark Wines Wines BevMo! BevMo! - Napa - Napa Bounty Bounty Hunter Hunter Browns Browns Valley Valley Market Market Buffalo’s Buffalo’s Shipping Shipping Post Post Calwine Calwine Cellar Cellar Collections Collections Lawler’s Lawler’s Liquors Liquors Napa Napa Valley Valley Wine Wine & Cigar & Cigar Napa Napa Valley Valley Wine Wine Train Train store store Nob Nob HillHill Foods Foods Raley’s Raley’s - Napa - Napa Ranch Ranch Market Market – Napa – Napa Redwood Redwood Liquor Liquor Safeway Safeway – Napa – Napa Soda Soda Canyon Canyon Store Store Val's Val's Liquors Liquors Whole Whole Foods Foods Napa Napa

RESTAURANTS RESTAURANTS CALISTOGA CALISTOGA Calistoga Calistoga InnInn Restaurant Restaurant and and Brewery Brewery Evangeline Evangeline Fleetwood Fleetwood Calistoga Calistoga House House of of Better Better Johnny’s Johnny’s Restaurant Restaurant and and BarBar Lovina Lovina Sam’s Sam’s Social Social Club Club Solbar Solbar Veraison Veraison Restaurant Restaurant

Cordeiro’s Cordeiro’s BarBar & Grill & Grill Don Don Perico Perico Eiko’s Eiko’s Empress Empress MM FARM FARM at at The The Carneros Carneros InnInn First First and and Franklin Franklin Forge Forge Pizza Pizza fumé fumé Bistro Bistro & Bar & Bar Galpão Galpão Gaucho Gaucho Gott’s Gott’s Roadside Roadside Grill Grill 2929 at at Embassy Embassy Suites Suites Hilltop Hilltop Restaurant Restaurant at at Carneros Carneros Resort Resort Il Posto Il Posto Trattoria Trattoria LaLa Cheve Cheve Bakery Bakery and and Brews Brews LaLa Toque Toque Mercantile Mercantile Social Social at at Andaz Andaz RUTHERFORD RUTHERFORD Mercantile Mercantile Terrace Terrace at at Andaz Andaz Auberge Auberge dudu Soleil Soleil Morimoto Morimoto – Napa – Napa Rutherford Rutherford Grill Grill Napa Napa General General Store Store YOUNTVILLE YOUNTVILLE Napa Napa Noodles Noodles AdAd Hoc Hoc Napa Napa Palisades Palisades Saloon Saloon Bistro Bistro Jeanty Jeanty NapaSport NapaSport Steakhouse Steakhouse & Sports & Sports Lounge Lounge Bottega Bottega Napa Napa Valley Valley Napa Napa Valley Valley Bistro Bistro Bouchon Bouchon Bistro Bistro Napa Napa Valley Valley Wine Wine Train Train Brix Brix Napkins Napkins BarBar + Grill + Grill Cicciow Cicciow Norman Norman Rose Rose Tavern Tavern LaLa Calenda Calenda Oenotri Oenotri Lucy Lucy Restaurant Restaurant @@ Bardessono Bardessono Olive Olive & Hay & Hay at at The The Meritage Meritage Resort Resort at at Napa Napa Mustards Mustards Grill Grill Pasta Pasta Prego Prego Perry Perry Lang’s Lang’s Ristorante Ristorante Allegria Allegria R+D R+D Kitchen Kitchen Silverado Silverado Resort Resort & Spa & Spa Southside Southside Café Café Southside Southside Café Café The The French French Laundry Laundry Tarla Tarla Mediterranean Mediterranean BarBar & Grill & Grill The The Commons Commons at at The The Meritage Meritage Resort Resort Napa Napa NAPA NAPA The The Grove Grove at at Copia Copia Ace Ace & Vine & Vine The The Mule Mule Lounge Lounge ALBA ALBA The The Q Restaurant Q Restaurant & Bar & Bar Angèle Angèle The Restaurant Restaurant at at CIA CIA Copia Copia Bank Bank Café Café & Bar & Bar – The – The Westin Westin Verasa Verasa Napa Napa The TORC TORC Bistro Bistro Don Don Giovanni Giovanni Trancas Trancas Steakhouse Steakhouse Blue Blue Note Note Napa Napa VINeleven VINeleven @@ thethe Marriott Marriott Boon Boon FlyFly Cafe Cafe at at The The Carneros Carneros InnInn Bounty Bounty Hunter Hunter Wine Wine BarBar & Smokin’ & Smokin’ BBQ BBQ BuiBui Bistro Bistro C Casa C Casa Cadet Cadet Carpe Carpe Diem Diem Celadon Celadon Charlie Charlie Palmer Palmer Steak Steak Napa Napa Cole’s Cole’s Chop Chop House House napavintners.org napavintners.org Compline Compline Wine Wine BarBar

ST.ST. HELENA HELENA Acacia Acacia House House at at Alila Alila Brasswood Brasswood BarBar & Kitchen & Kitchen Cook Cook St.St. Helena Helena Farmstead Farmstead at at Long Long Meadow Meadow Ranch Ranch Gatehouse Gatehouse Restaurant Restaurant - Culinary Culinary Institute Institute of of America America Goose Goose & Gander & Gander Gott’s Gott’s Roadside Roadside Harvest Harvest Table Table Himalayan Himalayan Sherpa Sherpa Kitchen Kitchen Market Market Restaurant Restaurant PRESS PRESS The The Charter Charter Oak Oak The The Grill Grill at at Meadowood Meadowood

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NV Scene

The Napa Valley scene and what's been happening around town. 10TH ANNUAL TASTE OF ATLAS PEAK

On October 30, 2021- in collaboration with the Napa Communities FireWise Foundation (NCFF) - the Atlas Peak Appellation hosted its 10th Annual Taste of Atlas Peak wine celebration to raise over $170,000 to sustain local fire-safety efforts, including fuel reduction, fire breaks and the IQ Firewatch system. Held at the Silverado Resort & Spa, guests enjoyed a walk around wine tasting from 18 of Napa Valley’s most prestigious wineries and gourmet bites from six of Napa’s favorite restaurants. Notable California dignitaries including California State Senator Bill Dodd, Napa Country BoS Chair, Alfredo Pedroza, Napa County Sheriff Oscar Oritz and other local county executives were in attendance. // www.atlaspeakappellation.com

Photo by Tim Kennedy Studio 707

Photo by Tim Kennedy Studio 707

Elana Hill of Prime Solum // Photo by Elan Villamore Photo by Elan Villamore

Photo by Elan Villamore

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Photo by Tim Kennedy Studio 707


John & Nat Komes at Wilfred's Lounge

WILFRED’S LOUNGE OPENS IN DOWNTOWN NAPA # PHOTOS COURTESY OF WILFRED'S LOUNGE

Napa Valley welcomed its first Tiki bar and restaurant with the opening of Wilfred’s Lounge on November 12. Located in the prior Burger Fi location on First Street, the much-anticipated, year-in-the-making Tiki restaurant was brought to Napa by Flora Springs’ John and Nat Komes and pays homage their Hawaiian heritage. Wilfred’s Lounge offers wine country an authentic Tiki experience with Island-inspired cocktails, food and surroundings featuring epic rooftop views of the Napa River, unique and authentic Tiki carvings, installations and art pieces including “tapa” wood carved walls, and bamboo-wrapped bar and bamboo huts. Open Wed- Sun from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. (kitchen closes at 9 p.m.) // www.wilfredslounge.com

Wilfred's Bar Opening Night

Wilfred's Lounge Interior

Wilfred's Lounge Exterior

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NV scene

Gretchen E. Hayes, Executive Director of Napa Firewise, Dave Bravo of Asomeo Environmental Restoration Inc (AERI) & Mike Lopez with Chumash Band of Mission Indians

Debra Dommen of Treasury Wine Estate, Joanne Sutro of Mt. Veeder Fire Safe Council Board and Tiffany Van Gorder of Winebow

SENATOR BILL DODD HOLIDAY FUNDRAISER # PHOTOS BY KERREY ARLYN PHOTOGRAPHY

On December 3rd, State Senator Bill Dodd hosted his annual holiday charity fundraiser for a sold-out crowd of over 450. The event set a fundraising record, raising $1.4 million to support wildfire and safety projects of the Napa Communities Firewise Foundation. This year’s festivities took place under enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols at the Meritage Resort and Spa. Napa Firewise is a countywide nonprofit organization that has been operating for 16 years. Its mission is to reduce the risk and impacts of wildfires through fire fuel reduction and community education in Napa County. // www.napafirewise.org

Napa FireWise Board President, Christopher Thompson

Rex Stults of Napa Valley Vintners with Mary Dodd & Tiffany Van Gorder

Senator Bill Dodd & Dave Bravo of Asomeo Environmental Restoration Inc (AERI)

Front row (left to right) Senator Bill Dodd, Elaine Honig, NCFF Director, Myrna Andrews, NCFF Volunteer. Jim Andrews, NCFF Volunteer, Linda Cantey, NCFF Director, Paul Cantey, Firewise Volunteer, Gretchen Hayes, NCFF Executive

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Sandra Cruz-Wilson & Mike Wilson of Napa FireWise Board Vice President


Inspire VIP luncheonPhoto by Lowell Downey // Art & Clarity

Bettina Bryant, Blakesley Chappellet, Kerrin Laz

INSPIRE NAPA VALLEY WINTER WINE & FOOD FÊTE On December 11th, Wine industry tastemaker, Kerrin Laz, founder and proprietor of K.LAZ Wine Collection hosted the third annual Inspire Napa Valley “Winter Wine & Food Fête” at the Estate Yountville raising over $450,000 to benefit the care, support, and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. The popular wine country event brought together more than 300 guests for a world-class VIP Lunch featuring premier vintners such as Abreu Vineyards, Bryant Estate, Futo Estate, Heimark Vineyard, LAZ Wine, Opus One, Screaming Eagle and Staglin Family Vineyard, followed by a walk-around wine tasting from 34 of California’s most exceptional vintners and winemakers. // www.inspirenapavalley.org

Kevin Hinchman, Tor Kenward, and Bruce Phillips Photo by Lowell Downey // Art & Clarity

Photo by Lowell Downey // Art & Clarity

Photo by Lowell Downey // Art & Clarity

Nick Gislason // Photo by Laura Larson

Sean Garrett and Austin Johnson of Dakota Shy // Photo by Laura Larson

Photo by Laura Larson

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NV scene

25TH ANNUAL CALISTOGA LIGHTED TRACTOR PARADE # PHOTOS BY TIM CARL

After a year hiatus, Napa Valley’s favorite family holiday event returned to Calistoga on December 4. In it’s usual “over the top” style, the Calistoga Lighted Tractor parade did not disappoint. Lincoln Avenue showcased some of wine country’s most spectacular holiday displays atop a brigade of over 50 lighted tractors, trucks, busses and other rolling floats to thousands of spectators from all around the Bay area. The competition is taken seriously by local businesses, including wineries, vineyards, schools and local government agencies, and highticket prizes are awarded for the best decorated float or theme.

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NV Calendar The Napa Valley scene of upcoming parties, concerts, celebrations and events Event dates subject to change. Please check event websites for current schedules.

bASH St Helena

Taste of Yountville Stags Leap Vineyard to Vintner Weekend Photo by Bob McClenahan

Through March 13

NAPA LIGHTED ART FESTIVAL

The Napa Lighted Art Festival returns in 2022 for an eight-week celebration of creative arts, technology, and lights, showcasing innovative techniques using light and light technologies as a growing art medium. This walkable outdoor experience is FREE in downtown Napa featuring eight lighted art sculptures. So bring the family and experience the magic. Monday – Thursday 6 -9 p.m. and Friday – Sunday 6 -10 p.m. // www.donapa.com/lighted-art-festival/ February 1- March 31

WILD MUSTARD DAYS

Immerse yourself in the magic of Mustard Season as wine country's restaurants, wineries, hotels, tour companies, galleries, and shops come alive with mustard-themed special offers and events to celebrate the annual 20

NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM

Napa Lighted Art Festival Photo courtesy of DoNapa

explosion of yellow blooms. Whether it be wine and food pairings, weekend hotel packages, mustard-themed spa treatments, guided hikes and tours, art exhibits or painting classes, it is a special time of the year to build your itinerary. // www.visitnapavalley.com or www.napavalleymustardcelebration.com

entertainment and epicurean experiences with all of the luxury and sophistication that Napa Valley has to offer for guests who appreciate the art of living well through discovery and exploration. // www.tasteofyountville.com April 2

March 29-31

YOUNTVILLE LIVE!

Yountville Live is the ultimate, three-day, luxury getaway festival, featuring exclusive performances from some of today’s hottest recording artists, exquisite cuisines from world-class restaurants and award-winning chefs, and a unique variety of Napa Valley’s most celebrated wineries and the finest beers and spirits available. This super-luxe weekend is the perfect combination of premium

APPELLATION ST. HELENA bASH 2022

It's back! bASH 2022, Appellation St. Helena's annual food and wine pairing competition, will be held in the barrel room at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena. No ordinary wine tasting, bASH pairs an ASH member's wine with a savory bite prepared by CIA student chefs or esteemed local restaurant chefs in a competition where the guests are the judges. Throughout the event, attendees will taste all the pairings and vote for their favorites,


Inside Track and winners will be presented with awards at the end. // CIA Greystone 2555 Main St., St Helena // www.appellationsthelena.com/ events April 22-24

STAGS LEAP VINEYARD TO VINTNER WEEKEND

The premier event for the Stags Leap District Winegrowers, Vineyard to Vintner, returns in 2022, bringing enthusiasts together with vintners, winemakers, and principals for a memorable weekend of esteemed wines, enchanting dining, and in-depth education of Napa Valley's most distinctive subappellations. The weekend itinerary includes intimate vintner dinners with world-class library wines and chef-driven menus, immersive education opportunities vis a vis Vineyard Walks, Talks and Tastings, and an exclusive Vintner-Hosted Luncheon at the historic Stag's Leap Winery, offering a rare chance to meet the winemakers, principals, and owners of 16 District wineries in one location. The weekend concludes with Savor SLD, a day of tastings and experiences at more than a dozen SLD properties. // www.stagsleapdistrict.com/V2V April 9-10

ALPHA WIN NAPA VALLEY 2022 TRIATHALON

Whether you have raced in Napa Valley before or are brand new to the area, this race is for you! A hidden treasure of the United States, Napa Valley is a one-of-a-kind location. With a view of the exquisite Lake Berryessa, as well as a chance to see a variety of Northern California's beautiful wildlife, Napa Valley is one of the best triathlon venues across the globe. The rugged but majestic terrain offers a course full of twists and turns through breathtaking vistas. Don't miss the chance to see Napa Valley for yourself and register to race in the Napa Valley Triathlon this year. Registration closes on April 6. // www.alpha.win/ event/napa-valley-2022/

What the Locals are Doing Blue Note Returns to Main Street Blue Note Napa returns to its downtown location after a summer of outdoor concerts hosted in collaboration with Charles Krug Winery. The live music jazz club/gourmet restaurant venue located on the first floor of the historic Napa Valley Opera House is a locals’ favorite where the intimate atmosphere feels as if the performers are playing in your very own living room. // 1030 MAIN ST., NAPA • WWW.BLUENOTENAPA.COM

Fazerrati’s Pizza & Salad Bar South Napa’s favorite pizza parlor is well known for its local lunchtime special – pizza and all-you-can-eat salad bar. For $12.99 customers get a personal pizza with three toppings, all-you-can-eat salad from a sumptuous salad station and a drink. For $4 more, add a beer or wine. Popular pizza options include “Real Italian” or “Fazerrati Special” as well as calzones, panini-style sandwiches. The full menu is available for online ordering or local delivery. // 1517 W. IMOLA AVE., NAPA • WWW.FAZERRATISPIZZA.COM

Lucky Penny Productions Lucky Penny Productions is Napa Valley’s Premier Theater Company, creating, developing and presenting professional quality theater as well as fostering educational opportunities for members of the Napa community through their classes, workshops and productions with the Napa Academy of Performing Arts. The non-profit organization is a locals favorite and has presented over 60 fully-staged shows at the Community Arts Center and other venues in Napa. //

Photo courtesy of Lucky Penny Productions

1758 INDUSTRIAL WAY, NAPA • WWW.LUCKYPENNY.COM

Farmstead Community Farmers’ Market The farmers market is where it all began for Ted and Laddy Hall with their first garden planted at the Long Meadow Ranch Mountain Estate. Today, they continue to sell organic produce, grass fed meats, honey, and heritage eggs at the Farmstead Community Farmers Market in St. Helena. Along with a handful of local purveyors, the market is open on Fridays through April from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. // 738 MAIN ST., ST. HELENA • WWW.LONGMEADOWRANCH.COM

Carpe Diem Happy Hour Carpe Diem Restaurant & Bar offers one of the best happy hours in downtown Napa. From 3 - 6 p.m. every day, house wine, bubbles and rail drinks are $7 and beers are just $5. Patrons also can choose from a robust list of gourmet bites which include among other things, flatbread, cheese and charcuterie, a daily taco special, truffle fries and their famous Ostrich burger. // 1001 2ND ST., #185, NAPA • WWW.CARPEDIEMNAPAVALLEY.COM BEST OF 2022

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NVL things to do

BEYOND the WINE

Get a Taste of Napa Valley's Burgeoning Beer Scene  BY ELIZABETH SMITH

Photo courtesy of Napa Palisades Saloon

Most know Napa Valley for its world-class wines and Michelin-starred restaurants. However, the craft beer brewery and taproom scene from Napa to Calistoga is exploding with a postpandemic renaissance of local favorites and the introduction of new and exciting producers. As a result, it is time for Napa’s other craft beverage to shine. Below are a few notable producers to add some wallop to any formidable Napa Valley tasting itinerary. 22

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CALISTOGA INN, RESTAURANT, AND BREWERY

FIELDWORK BREWING COMPANY

Founded in 1987, Calistoga Inn, Restaurant, and Brewery (Napa Valley Brewing Company) is Napa Valley’s oldest brewer and was the county’s first commercial brewery since the end of prohibition in 1933. Under head brewer Daniel Reynolds, the brewery makes five year-round beers, American Wheat Ale, Palisades Pilsner, Calistoga Red Ale, West Coast IPA, and Blue Collar Porter, in addition to unique seasonal selection. Reynolds also leads by-appointment tours, including a halfpint pour at the beginning, another at the end, and a logo Calistoga Inn pint glass. Parties of one to seven guests receive a tasting flight of six four-ounce tasters, while parties of eight or larger receive four pitchers of beers of their choice. // www.calistogainn.com/brewery

Fieldwork Brewing Company’s Napa taproom highlights the West Berkeley based brewery’s large portfolio of beers. Head brewer and co-founder Alex Tweet’s intent is to make beers with a since of place and purpose. “Based on seasonality and consistent quality, Fieldwork forges its own path brewing beers we simply love to drink,” said Tweet. Since its launch in 2015, Fieldwork has brewed over 500 unique beers, recently expanding their footprint to a new location in the Oxbow Public Market Annex overlooking the Napa River and Oxbow Commons. It features both an outdoor beer garden and an expansive indoor taproom. Two flight options are available – a sampler flight of six beers or a Fieldwork Flight. Since the menu is always changing with each season’s fresh releases, it is never the


Photo courtesy of Mad Fritz

same experience twice. The highly aromatic and well-balanced beers are in constant rotation and include signature IPAs, double IPAs, lagers, pale ales, sours, and stouts. // www.fieldworkbrewing.com/napa

MAD FRITZ Winemakers Nile Zacherle and Whitney Fisher – and their two children, Madeleine and Fritz – founded Mad Fritz in 2014. They farm, source, and brew beers, concentrating on 100% locally sourced and single-origin beers. Mad Fritz offers intimate brewery tours and tastings of 10-14 beers by appointment at their brewery location to educate guests on where the ingredients are grown and how they are brewed. “It’s a ‘beer in a wine glass’ experience rather than a bar-like setting. We don’t want to be a bar; Mad Fritz is an experience,” shared Zacherle. Mad Fritz brews over 36 beers in rotation, with multiple variations, including styles like English, German, Belgian, and American, although they lean toward Belgian due to barrel aging and natural carbonation. Mad Fritz also produces historical styles like Kuyt, Gruit, and Liege ales. In addition, they allocate most of their best and most unique bottlings to their beer club membership. // www.madfritz.com

NAPA PALISADES SALOON Napa locals may know Napa Palisades Saloon as downtown’s friendly and fun hangout for libations, brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner, but “The Beer Guys in Wine Country” brew their own beer and have over 30 beers on tap at any given moment. They include Palisades brews with proprietary recipes, like Loco IPA, Crazy Hazy IPA, Hey Porter! and Pacific Pilsner, as well as collaboration projects with other local brewers. Tasting flights of four beers, four ounces each, are available daily alongside a salty snack to cleanse the palate for the next sip. Guests may choose from house beers or guest tap offerings from Barrel Brothers, Henhouse, and Tannery Bend. // www.napapalisades.com

Photo courtesy of St. Clair Brown Brewery

Photo Courtesy of Calistoga Brewery

ST. CLAIR WINERY AND BREWERY Winemaker and head brewer Elaine St. Clair and president Laina Brown founded St. Clair Brown Winery and Brewery, a tasting experience for both beer and wine lovers. St. Clair has been making wine in the Napa Valley for over 30 years, and for 10 years during the 1990s, she was co-owner and

Photo courtesy of Fieldwork Brewing

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NVL things to do head brewer of Napa Ale Works, one of Napa Valley's original breweries. After a hiatus of two decades, she returned to making beer. St. Clair and Brown’s son, brewer Bren Westerland, make 14 small-batch beers onsite, then they hand bottle and hand label them in 750 milliliter champagne bottles. St. Clair is a traditionalist who brings her winemaking approach to making beer. “My goal is to make balanced, food-friendly beers that elevate classic recipes rather than focus on exotic infusions or anything exceedingly experimental,” she said. St. Clair Brown offers by-appointment tasting flights of the day’s three beers on tap in their organic culinary garden and tasting room across the street from the brewery and winery. The lineup includes farmhouse saison, IPA, oatmeal stout, pilsner, porter, and a variety of ales and IPAs. A beer club is also available. // www.stclairbrown.com

TRADE BREWING Trade Brewing, sister company to Napa’s Jax Dining, opened four years ago in Napa’s the Oxbow District. The taproom regularly has on tap 10-14 of their own craft beers as well as a couple of local specialties, like Napa Valley Cider, M&O Wines, and Monkey Wrench Hard Seltzers, to please every palate. Some of their own brews include Bricklayer Blonde, Five Tool Kolsch, 110V Pale Ale, 220V Juicy IPA, Ten Penny Brown Ale, WTF (What the Funk) Barrel Aged Farmhouse, and Comfortably Plumb Kettled Wheat Sour. A beer club is in the works for 2022. Trade also offers live music, tap takeovers, and food pop-ups. Trade Brewing

Photo courtesy of St. Clair Brown Brewery

describes itself as the “Cheers!” of Napa, where they know everyone’s name (and drink). // www.tradebrewing.com

New On The Scene: HANABI LAGER COMPANY Hanabi Lager Company is a unique lager brewing project born from the “winemaker’s agricultural perspective” from Screaming Eagle winemaker, Nick Gislason and his wife Jennifer Angelosante. Falling outside of the realm of what’s to be expected in the craft beer genre, Hanabi’s exclusive focus is producing very small amounts of slow-fermenting “grain-forward lager” with longer maturation times. Using a hand-built, steam-fired brewhouse he built himself, Gislason’s approach is different from hop-forward beers that highlight the flavors of hop flowers and malt-forward beers, whose flavors come primarily from the malting process, “Here at Hanabi Lager, we are using lager brewing as a

methodology to explore the delicious range of flavors that grains can bring to beer,” said Angelosante. “We design our processes to allow the flavors of the grains to shine, and the results are beers that are simultaneously refreshing and flavorful, distinguished by their elegance and complexity.” Hanabi (named after the Japanese word for ‘fireworks,’ an homage to Gislason’s expertise in pyrotechnics) is brewed four times per year at the beginning of each season, for which each batch is named. The 500 -milliliter bottles are sold as six-packs and can be acquired in limited distribution through announcements on their mailing list. // www.hanabilager.com

more to explore Downtown Joe’s www.downtownjoes.com/brewery

Hop Creek Gastropub and Nanobrewery www.hopcreekpub.com

Photo courtesy of Trade Brewing

Lincoln Avenue Brewing www.lincolnavebrewerycalistoga.com

Napa Barrel Project www.napabarrelproject.com

Napa Smith Brewery at Vista Collina www.napasmithbrewery.com

Tannery Bend Beerworks www.tannerybendbeerworks.com Photo courtesy of Trade Brewing

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Trade Brewing www.tradebrewing.com


Treasures await you at La Bohème!

ART • FURNISHINGS • VINTAGE GOODS DÉCOR • JEWELRY • FASHION Proceeds from sales and donations support Collabria Care's programs for serious illness and end-of-life care.

1428 Main St., St. Helena 707.244.4686 Open Wed – Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. BEST OF 2022

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N A PA VA L L E Y

MUSTARD SEASON

e c n e i r e p x E c i e g h t Ma Photoby Bob McClenahan

During the months of February and March each year, when Napa Valley’s vineyards are in their dark and dormant phase, the valley floor erupts with an explosion of bright yellow mustard. The sea of yellow blooms is cause for celebration, attracting locals and visitors to revel in the brightness it evokes across the valley, signaling spring is imminent. Buena Vista Founder, Agoston Haraszthy

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he weather is still very mild at this time of the year, with cool temperatures that average in the high ’50s and ’60s, so it’s an optimal time to visit. As a matter of fact, Mustard Season in Napa Valley is becoming almost as popular as the busy summer and harvest months (May-October). When mustard is at its peak, it is not unusual to see a procession of spectators gathered at prime viewing sites taking photos among the yellow blossoms and capturing Insta-worthy selfies.


Although the mustard is one of Napa Valley’s magical wonders, it serves as much more than a fantastic photo opp. Its purpose is agricultural in scope planted between vineyard rows functioning as a cover crop to protect the soil, replenishing it with nutrients, attracting beneficial insects with its bright hues, preventing erosion, and taking up extra groundwater during years with heavier rainfall. For grapevines, mustard’s high levels of natural chemical agents provide an additional health benefit by suppressing the nematode population (microscopic worms) that can damage the vines. Mustard is quite a hardy plant, growing an average of five to six feet each season, and can survive in the soil for 30 – 40 years. Photo courtesy of Laces and Limos.

Photo Courtesy of Jessel Gallery

Photoby Bob McClenahan

The history of mustard in California is not well-known, but its roots trace back to the 1700s when the Spanish colonizers came to the Pacific Coast and used it as a spice crop. Over the years, its use as a crop protector became prolific as its attributes became more widely recognized. Visit Napa Valley welcomes mustard season during Wild Mustard Days, a valleywide, good life celebration of the seasonal mustard bloom. During the months of February and March, many restaurants, hotels, and wineries offer specials and host mustard-themed events to celebrate the season, such as weekend hotel packages, mustard-themed spa treatments, guided hikes through the mustard, alfresco painting classes, and more.

Jessel Gallery and Bougetz Cellars will be showcasing the magic of the season by gathering some the most talented local artists and photographers for a series of art exhibitions, classes and eventscomplete with wine, food trucks and pop-up shops. Don’t miss the Opening Celebration on February 19th and 20th. // www.napavalleymustardcelebration.com Check out Laces and Limos Seasonal Safari for an immersive guided tour – “Magic in the Mustard” experience. Spend the day sipping and swirling, exploring the best places to view mustard in bloom. The back road tour includes two winery stops and an immersive photo session. // www.lacesandlimos.com/experiences

For a self-guided tour, Visit Napa Valley has published a Wild Mustard Days Map that illustrates some of the best mustard viewing areas throughout Napa Valley which can be viewed on their website or downloaded directly to any device via the QR code below.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.visitnapavalley.com/mustard BEST OF 2022

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NVL what's hot

Be Bubbly DJ Night Join locals in the know for the hot sounds of DJ Carl Hernandez at the Be Bubbly Lounge. DJ Carl rocks the lounge two Fridays a month from 7:30–10:30 while guests indulge in a wide selection of Napa sparkling and Champagne flights, 22+ by the glass options accompanied by an indulgent menu of “Bubbly Nibbles” that includes delicacies such as Regis Ova caviar, duck fois gras, cheese and charcuterie and parmesan fries. Reservations recommended. FOR MORE INFORMATION: 1407 Second St., Napa //

www.bebubbly.com

VAULT WINE +ARTIFACTS Founders, Mario Sculatti and Trevor Mallet

VAULT WINE + ARTIFACTS Calistoga's newest winery collective set within a grand gallery of monumental winemaking antiques held its grand opening in early December. The new wine collective invites patrons to indulge in beautifully made wines from a select group of craft Napa Valley vintners: Kanamota, Stringer Cellars, Sarah Francis Wines, Mallett, Petrified Forest Vineyards, Avaia, Bluford, and Y. Rousseau. Founders Mario Sculatti and Trevor Mallett have choreographed a diverse selection of incredible terroir driven wines and flights with over 24 by-theglass offerings as well as private portfolio tastings. Open to the public or by reservation Thursday through Monday from 12pm-7pm. Closed Tuesday & Wednesday (bookable for private events only). DJ Carl

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 1124 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga // www.vaultcalistogawine.com

Hanabi Lager Screaming Eagle winemaker Nick Gislason’s new brewing project is taking a new direction within the craft beer marketplace. Unlike traditional hop or malt-forward brews, Hanabi Lager (named after the Japanese word for ‘fireworks,’ an homage to Gislason’s expertise in pyrotechnics) focuses on a lager brewing methodology with a grain-forward approach that allows the flavors of the grains to shine. The results are beers that are refreshing and distinguished by their elegance and complexity. Hanabi Lager is brewed four times per year at the beginning of each season, for which each batch is named. The 500 -milliliter bottles are sold as six-packs and can be acquired in limited distribution through announcements on their mailing list. FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.hanabilager.com 28

NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM

First Four Seasons of Hanabi Photo courtesy of Hanabi Lager


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NVL what's hot

Photo courtesy of North Spirits and Tapas

Tweed & Vine St. Helena welcomes a new fine clothing boutique to its shopping repertoire. After 40 years of selling fine clothing at San Francisco’s Button Down, partners Michael Sabino and Ken Blenis present Tweed & Vine, a new lifestyle store carrying men’s and women’s high-quality clothing from Italy, France, the UK, and the US as well as great accessories and home collectibles. Located in the prior Vasconi Drugstore location on the corner of Main Street and Adams, Tweed & Vine’s clothes are perfect for wine country living- practical, beautifully constructed, and stylish, whether talking a dog for a walk, going wine tasting, or a dinner out. Open Wed-Sat 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 – 4 p.m. FOR MORE INFORMATION: 1381 Main St., St. Helena //

www.tweednvine.com

North Spirits & Tapas Napa’s newest hot spot for craft cocktails and worldly small bites opened on Trancas Street in North Napa. The new eatery is giving locals and visitors a fun, cozy spot to enjoy a wide variety of beverages and delicious food. The energy is welcoming and laid back boasting a wall-to-wall bar showcasing an extensive liquor collection as well as a wine and beer list featuring a formidable selection from local producers. The eclectic menu offers tapas (small bites), sharable appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, seasonal small plates, and a handful of desserts. The venue offers this North Napa neighborhood a new and exciting place to unwind. Open daily 3:00 p.m. – Closing. FOR MORE INFORMATION: 1542 Trancas St., Napa // www.northnapa.com

Photo courtesy of Tweed and Vine

Buena Vista Winery Opens Downtown 1142 First Street is the new home of a novel Buena Vista Winery tasting room and Earth & Sky Chocolates experience. The new storefront, located in the historic Gordon Building, features majestic chocolate displays from Earth & Sky Chocolates, as well as a tasting area and wine bar. Cabernet sauvignon tastings are offered alongside a decadent assortment of chocolates, as well as a unique caviar pairing experience. The collaboration inhabits the Gordon Building’s 1,190 square foot retail space, as well as the 605 square foot mezzanine. Both Buena Vista Winery and the Gordon Building are powerful representations of Napa Valley’s history, as well as northern California’s overall historical landscape. FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.buenavistawinery.com 30

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• JEAN-CHARLES BOISSET •

Great RESTORATION: PRESERVATION The

e ch a n a P w i t h

 BY LAYNE RANDOLPH | COVER AND INSIDE PHOTO BY LOWELL DOWNEY

As Ariel Saland, an expert Buena Vista Winery guide, leads guests through a small, tunnel-like passageway, she explains how the opening allowed mid-1800s winery workers to enter what was once a champagne cave. Unfortunately, they were blocked from entering through the front because a roaring fire was at the entrance, a fire that they started and tended for six weeks straight, hoping it would warm the wine enough to activate the yeast and create the vital bubbles of sparkling wine. (Spoiler alert: It did not work).

T

ales like these give color and character to presentday locations. In the case of Buena Vista, they tie people to a long-past era that laid the groundwork for modern-day California wine country. Without these stories, they may never appreciate the ingenuity and sacrifice it took Napa and Sonoma Valley pioneers to bring this world-renowned region to fruition. No one knows this better than Jean-Charles Boisset, the proprietor of the Boisset Collection. The Boisset Collection encompasses wineries throughout California and France, Boisset’s homeland. The glamorous Boisset knows more than a bit about historical and cultural appreciation and preservation.

Hailing from Vougeot, France, in Burgundy, Boisset’s family owns historically significant vineyards and wineries. Boisset first visited California and Buena Vista when he was eleven, and he began a lifelong love affair with the winery, eventually fulfilling his dream by purchasing it. “I fell in love with Buena Vista, fell in love with the history of California, fell in love with the sense of pioneering and the idea that everything is possible in this beautiful state. In the last 150 years, we have the amazing innovators, pioneers, the Gold Rush, and everything that followed—the spiritual endeavor that says everything can be done here.”

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Founded in 1857, the Buena Vista Winery was condemned after the 1989 earthquake, and Ariel described the state of the building with the champagne caves when Boisset purchased them, “It was in terrible condition. Had [Boisset] not restored and preserved it for historical purposes, the building would not exist at all. The recommendation was to resurface all the caves, and Jean-Charles said, ‘Absolutely not, there are no other caves like this in the area.’ These are the most historically significant wine caves in the state of California, if not in the US, and they’re high up there in the world.” Specialized restorers carved each stone individually and regrouted them for earthquakes. The original grout was very rigid,

a world in Europe and France that you live where you live because your family has; where the maps of the wine regions have already been created and established. You must deal with the system and the walls built before you. Here, everything is unique, and everything can be yours.” He recognized that the American wine country legacy, although short, was fascinating and inspiring. “What motivates me, in general, is the phenomenal idea that people came here with a dream and a world they wanted to create for themselves. Everybody has a chance to write a chapter [for the future], but we cannot erase the chapters of the past.” Less than 200 years ago, winemaking did not exist in California as an industry. Pioneers

and prospectors came here with dreams and the tenacity to build something new. This sense of exploration and innovation sets the American wine country apart in the wine world, and it melds well with two mainstays in Boisset’s life: wine and optimism. “I was raised in an environment that is very serious [about wine]. That could be very stifling and boring. I think the opposite of that. I think we can have fun and learn. I don’t talk much about technicality. I have done it all my life, and we have mastered the technical side. It is not what is going to bring people together. Fermentation is not going to bring people together. It is about emotions and feelings. We have a phenomenal team of winemakers so that nobody can challenge us on wine. So that’s why we have fun!”

“ I think we’re shareholders of history and shareholders of our future. It is essential to have historical landmarks and document history visually so people can feel it, touch it, and live it.” Buena Vista Caves // Photo by Scott Chebegia

and the building needed to wiggle and flow a little bit. The stones, so worn down that they leaked out as they filled the grout into the rocks, were each saved and reused. Today, all the building stones are original. Maintaining historic buildings connects people to the past with physical reminders of what came before them. So Boisset is understandably proud of the efforts to keep the original structure. “How cool is it at Buena Vista, to say, that is how they built it, look at it, and we preserved it, and in three hundred years, that’s what we’ll see. Like the Louvre, Tulum, Machu Picchu, old temples in China, and Petra,” Boisset gushed. As someone who grew up surrounded by and non-plussed by ancient history, Boisset may be the perfect person to bring a wave of restoration to Napa Valley. “I come from 34

NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM

Oakville Wine Merchant and Oakville Grocery Photo courtesy of Boisset Collection


Elizabeth Spencer Photo courtesy of Boisset Collection

The Ink House Photo courtesy of Boisset Collection

1881 Wine Museum Photo by Scott Chebegia

His infectious exuberance flows over as he waxes poetic about wine culture, French culture, and how he loves the big American smiles. His gregarious personality and success precede him, and he is well-known as a oneof-a-kind visionary and wine entrepreneur. Still, historical preservationist is becoming an oft-used descriptor, as he has made it his mission to help conserve the short but poignant history of Napa Valley. He does it by purchasing landmark sites, keeping their cultural importance, and restoring them to their former glory and beyond. “The missionaries were sent to bring Catholicism; I was sent to bring the feeling that we’ve got to respect this incredible place that is California,” Boisset said. He scooped up California’s oldest continually operating grocery store, Oakville Grocery when it became available in 2019. On the National Register of Historic Places, the 1881 grocery store originally offered provisions to the first wine country adventurers. Today, it caters to a crowd interested in local artisanal products, wood-fired pizzas, and chef-prepared takeaway fare. The iconic nature of the building remains, but Boisset modernized it for today’s Napa Valley locals and travelers. Adjacent to Oakville Grocery stands what used to be the founder’s home, which Boisset restored and transformed into Napa’s first wine history museum—1881 Napa Museum. A tour of the museum gives visitors a snapshot of the valley’s beginnings, the early pioneers, winemaking relics, and

Photo by Lowell Downey

artifacts from the “Golden Age of Wine,” including original bottles from the 1800s. The part-winetasting-part-educational museum allows visitors to sample and compare wine from the valley’s 16 appellations. The concept falls in line with Boisset’s theory of preservation, “Preserve, bring back to what it was, adding a little twist of the future, but mainly keeping the past.” Boisset is renovating Calistoga’s 1868 train depot and plans to open a cafe, brewery, and spirits tasting room on site. Boisset also recently purchased two more landmark properties—the Elizabeth Spencer Winery with its 1872 Post Office building that serves as its tasting room, and the Ink House Luxury Inn, which was built in 1885 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In February 2022, Boisset opens the Chateau Buena Vista tasting room in downtown Napa, commemorating Buena Vista Winery’s Napa Valley connection. Partnering with Earth & Sky Chocolates, Boisset plans a wine and chocolate tasting experience in the 1929 Gordon Building— another building on the National Register of Historic Places. When asked what he thinks the legacy of our current period in Napa Valley will be, he explained, “None of us are making average to poor wines, so that’s good news. We are entering an era where there is an excellent understanding and knowledge about viticulture and winemaking. So, we have transitioned over the last three

decades into a period of extreme knowledge and savoir-faire. Now we are entering into a world of creativity and craft—a time of true artistry.” Boisset reveals his respect for the wine pioneers, their innovations, and their dreams, and it is as if he is telling the stories of Napa Valleys’ roots for the first time with his fresh perspective. He compares Napa Valley’s progression to that of Burgundy and Bordeaux and shares that instead of taking centuries to build its legacy, Napa Valley will catapult to that level more rapidly by recognizing, protecting, and conserving its past earlier. “California is new, [its wine country dates to] 1850. We always have this complex about Italy and France. Let’s write our own powerful history.” By preserving and celebrating the buildings and history of the region to such a considerable extent, Boisset is ensuring himself a place in the appellation’s story as one of the pioneers who built Napa Valley. It is moving that a French vintner is so enamored with the Napa Valley of yesterday and today. He brings pride of place to the region and paves the way to an illustrious future. “I think we’re shareholders of history and shareholders of our future. It is essential to have historical landmarks and document history visually so people can feel it, touch it, and live it.” FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.boissetcollection.com BEST OF 2022

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2022

Napa Valley's reputation as one of the world's finest wine and culinary destinations has made it one of the most desirous places to visit, and its local charms have also made it one of America's best small towns in which to live. Besides the year-round, Mediterranean climate, the award-winning wineries, restaurants, and local purveyors offer visitors and locals the perfect haven to experience some of the most unique and memorable places, people, and things to do. Each year, Napa Valley Life pauses to recognize and celebrate the area's bounties by asking our readers to weigh in on their favorite places to eat, drink, shop, and play, and we have the privilege to present them in our annual Best of Napa ValleyPeoples Choice Awards. Well, folks, the results are in! After calculating thousands of votes and writein entries, we are pleased to share and congratulate this year's winners in each polling category. We hope you enjoy reading the results and take the time to congratulate the ones you know and make a point to discover the ones you don't.

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Photo by Bob McClenahan

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BEST

BEST

Bar/Cocktails

Winery Tasting Room

Goose and Gander P 707-967-8779

Family Winery PFrank 707-942-0859

1245 Spring St., St. Helena www.goosegander.com

1091 Larkmead Lane, Calistoga www.frankfamilyvineyards.com

Located in the historic Martini House, Goose & Gander remains the king as one of Napa Valley’s favorite places for fun and libations. The craftsman-style bungalow setting situated on a charming neighborhood block offers patrons a great place to gather outside in the beer garden or inside at the cozy Whiskey Bar, where a great selection of award-winning wines, beer, and retro-fresh, handcrafted cocktails are served up alongside a fantastic rustic American pub and bar bites menu.

Nestled in the shade of centuries-old Elm trees, Frank Family’s iconic tasting room has been a part of Napa Valley’s landscape for nearly 30 years. Both classic and contemporary, their home for guests embodies the spirit of family that drives everything they do. Frank Family offers a range of intimate, seated experiences inside their yellow 1930s craftsman house and throughout their park-like property. Each unique guest room reflects a part of their history, inviting visitors to sit and enjoy estate sparkling and vineyard-designated still wines under the guidance of Napa’s most hospitable wine education team.

Auberge du Soleil • 2nd 707-963-1211 180 Rutherford Hill Rd., Rutherford www.aubergeresorts.com/ aubergedusoleil

Sequoia Grove • 2nd 707-944-2945 8338 St. Helena Hwy., Napa www.sequoiagrove.com Peju Winery • 3rd 707-963-3600 8466 St. Helena Hwy., Rutherford www.peju.com

Bistro Don Giovanni • 3rd 707-224-3300 4110 Howard Lane, Napa www.bistrodongiovanni.com

BEST

Wine Collective Collective PVintners 707-255-7150 • 1245 Main St., Napa www.vintnerscollective.com Vintners Collective is the bonded tasting room for a select group of small, familyowned Napa wineries that produce 300 cases or less. Located on Main Street in a renovated historic building, originally a saloon and brothel dating back to 1875, VC is a favorite place to stop, sip and check out some wines only found in Napa Valley. Their wine club is rated as one of Napa Valley’s most popular and was voted in the Top 10 Best in USA Today’s Readers Choice in 2020.

Brasswood Cellars • 2nd 707-302-5997 3111 St. Helena Hwy. N., St. Helena www.brasswood.com Photo courtesy of Vintner's Collective 38 NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM

The Wine Thief • 3rd 707-666-2650 708 1st St., Napa www.twtnapa.com


Thank you for naming us

Best Winery Tasting Room & Best Local Winemaker in Napa Valley!

FrankFamilyVineyards.com

/frankfamilyvineyards

#GreatWineHappensEveryDay


BEST

Hidden Gem Winery Springs Winery PFlora 707-967-8032 • www.florasprings.com 677 St. Helena Hwy., St. Helena Founded in 1978 by John and Julie Komes and named after their free-spirited mother, Flora, Flora Springs’s history dates back to the late 1800s when grapes were first planted on the estate. Lauded as one of Napa Valley’s local hidden gems, the St. Helena winery and tasting room offer visitors a relaxing respite to learn some of Napa’s unique history and experience some of the region’s top-rated Cabernet, Chardonnay, single varietal, and Bordeaux blends, including their award-winning Trilogy.

Jarvis Estate Winery • 2nd 707-255-5280 2970 Monticello Rd., Napa www.jarviswines.com Kris Todd Vineyards • 3rd 707-225-7855 www.kristoddvineyards.com

BEST

Wine Bar Oxbow Cheese & P Wine Merchant 707-257-5200 • 610 1st St., Napa www.fpwm.com Launched in 2008, the Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant is a flagship attraction within the Oxbow Public Market. Known for its extensive collection of artisanal cheeses from all around the world and its boutique assortment of wines, the Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant is a popular place to shop or hang out. The wine bar is renowned for its impressive list of hand-selected wines by the bottle, flight, or glass, handcrafted beers, and a delectable assortment of cheese and charcuterie or “whatever else whets your appetite.” Their wine club, which focuses on fantastic producers, terrific values, and a wide range of styles, has also been met with critical acclaim.

Winner

VOTED BEST WINE BAR 707-257-5200 // www.oxbowwine.com

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Bounty Hunter • 2nd 707-226-3976 • 975 1st St., Napa www.bountyhunterwinebar.com Cadet Wine & Beer Bar • 3rd 707-224-4400 930 Franklin St., Napa www.cadetbeerandwinebar.com


estate grown cave fermented

At Jarvis We Are... unyielding in our passion for making world-class wine. Journey into the earth and experience our unique estate grown and cave fermented Napa Valley wines! tour & tasting by appointment only (707) 255-5280 • www.jarviswines.com Photo courtesy of Vintner's Collective

Jarvis estate


BEST

Boutique Winery Estate PEhlers 707-963-5972 3222 Ehlers Lane, St. Helena www.ehlersestate.com

Todd Graff // Photo courtesy of Frank Family Vineyards

BEST

Local Winemaker

P 707-942-0859 • 1091 Larkmead Lane, Calistoga Todd Graff

www.frankfamilyvineyards.com Todd Graff has just embarked on his 20th year as the Winemaker for Frank Family Vineyards, where he has developed a reputation for producing world-class Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Méthode Champenoise sparkling wines. Before joining Frank Family Vineyards, this Petaluma native began his career across the globe, where he worked with top producers in Australia, France, and Germany. Todd has played an essential role in Frank Family’s steady growth over the past 19 vintages, including their recognition as “Winery of the Year” by the Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine in 2012 and 2017. In addition, in 2020, Todd was named “Napa Winemaker of the Year” by the North Bay Business Journal due to his positive contributions to the wine industry.

Molly Hill • 2nd 707-944-2945 8338 St. Helena Hwy., Napa www.sequoiagrove.com Sarah Fowler • 3rd 707- 963-3600 8466 St Helena Hwy., Rutherford www.peju.com Heidi Barrett • 3rd 707-942-1105 PO Box 441, Calistoga www.lasirenawine.com

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Founded in the late 1800s by Bernard Ehlers and acquired by philanthropists Jean and Sylviane Leducq a century later, Ehlers Estate is the closest thing one will experience to a French Chateau. The 42-acre vineyards and winery produce handcrafted quality wines that present the balance and structure of the finest Bordeaux bottlings the Leducq’s knew and loved. The wines are available primarily direct to consumers, and tastings are hosted in Bernard Ehler’s original stone barn, renovated to showcase local artists, or in the olive grove on the property.

Goosecross Cellars • 2nd 707-944-1986 1119 State Lane, Yountville www.goosecross.com

tie

Prager Winery & Port Works • 2nd 707-963-7678 1281 Lewelling Lane, St. Helena www.pragerport.com St. Clair Brown Winery and Brewery • 3rd 707-255-5591 • 816 Vallejo St., Napa www.stclairbrownwinery.com

BEST

Wine Tour Valley Wine Train PNapa 707-253-2111 • 1275 McKinstry St., Napa • www.winetrain.com

tie

Napa Valley’s Wine Train is an experience like no other. It’s much more than a tour or excursion; it’s an unforgettable adventure. The luxuriously vintage setting brings back a bygone era with plushly appointed cars that offer polished, personalized service, multiple courses of gourmet California cuisine, and premier local wines -- all accompanied by rolling views of Napa Valley’s lush vineyards and landscapes. Whether it’s lunch, dinner, romance, mystery, or exclusive private tours, every itinerary offers a memorable wine country experience.

Beau Wine Tours • 2nd 707-938-8001 21707 Eighth St., E Suite A, Sonoma www.beauwinetours.com

Napa Valley Tours & Transportation • 3rd 707-251-9463 • 933 Water St., Napa www.nvtt.net


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Outdoor Wine Tasting Terraces PThe 707-963-1707 1450 Silverado Trail, Rutherford www.terraceswine.com The Terraces winery is a family-owned operation that “strives to create epic wines that capture a sense of place and time, and that brings joy.” Tasting experiences on the property are unique and often hosted by proprietors Timm and Sharon Crull, who are also the

estate’s farmers/growers/winemakers. The duo has transformed the 113 acres of land into 25 acres of vineyards and a sustainable farm that produces wine grapes, cider, balsamic vinegar, orchards, honeybees, vegetables, flowers, and herbs. As part of the winetasting experience, guests are taken on an immersive property tour either on foot or via ATV. The property is peppered with the Crull’s whimsical art collection (including a life-sized pink and green potted cow sculpture) with ad hoc stops to visit the chickens, the bee apiaries, the apple orchards, the restored historic buildings, and

Photo courtesy of Gotts Roadside

even to experience a taste of their 20-year harvest of balsamic traditionale. A visit to the Terraces is one of Napa Valley’s genuine treasures.

Domaine Carneros • 2nd 707-257-0101 1240 Duhig Rd., Napa www.domainecarneros.com Joseph Phelps Vineyards • 3rd 800-707-5789 200 Taplin Rd., St. Helena www.josephphelps.com

tie

Alpha Omega Winery • 3rd 707-963-9999 1155 Mee Ln., St. Helena www.aowinery.com

BEST

Pizza Tra Vigne PPizzeria 707-967-9999 1016 Main St., St. Helena www.pizzeriatravigne.com

BEST

Family Restaurant Gotts Roadside-Napa P 707-224-6900 • 644 1st St., Napa 707-963-3486 • 933 Main St., St. Helena • www.gotts.com Gotts Roadside has been around since it was introduced in St. Helena as Taylor’s Refresher as a car-hop restaurant back in 1999. Its popularity prompted its expansion to the Ferry Building in San Francisco and then downtown in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market District in 2007. The retro-style restaurant has something for everyone with a menu that serves gourmetstyle roadside classics such as inventive burgers, hot dogs, fries, handmade shakes, fresh seafood tacos, poke bowls, fresh salads, fried chicken, and chili, all accompanied by an impressive beer and local wine list.

Pizzeria Tra Vigne • 2nd 707-967-9999 1016 Main St., St. Helena www.pizzeriatravigne.com 44

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Hop Creek Pub • 3rd 707-257-7708 3253 Browns Valley Rd., Napa www.hopcreekpub.com

Pizzeria Tra Vigne has been one of Napa Valley’s local treasures since its opening over 25 years ago. People come from all corners of wine country to hang out and eat pasta, pizza, or a fresh daily special at this vibrant, family restaurant. Their pizzas have always been lauded as the area’s best, hand-tossed with fresh ingredients. Favorites include “The Queen’s Pizza,” a fresh margarita-style pie with freshly made mozzarella, the “Funghi,” loaded with fresh mushrooms, fontina, and truffle oil, or “The Original Vespa” with chicken sausage, roasted onions, spinach, and fresh mozzarella. There’s plenty of seating outdoors on their beautiful patio, complete with Bocce Court, or inside at a table or booth with family and friends.

Bistro Don Giovanni • 2nd 707-224-3300 4110 Howard Lane, Napa www.bistrodongiovanni.com Azzurro Pizzeria e Enoteca • 3rd 707-255-5552 1260 Main St., Napa www.azzurropizzeria.com


We’re Blushing Thank you Napa Valley Life! Voted Best Outdoor Tasting Room Enjoy elegant seated tastings of world class Sparkling Wine and our award winning hospitality while taking in vineyard views from our expansive outdoor patio.

10am to 5:30pm daily | Reservations required | 21 and over 800-716-2788 ext 150 | www.domainecarneros.com 1240 Duhig Road, Napa (off Hwy 12/121) 4 miles west of Napa, 5 miles east of Sonoma

N A PA VA L L E Y

CABERNET SAUVIGNON

One can search a lifetime hunting down an excellent Cabernet value amongst Napa Valley producers... Silver Ghost is a wine that fits this description. – Wilfred Wong

AWA R D - W I N N I N G 2 0 1 9 V I N TA G E

92 Points James Suckling visit SilverGhostCellars.com

92 Points Vinous or ask for it at your local fine wine retailer

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Italian Restaurant Don Giovanni PBistro 707-224-3300 • 4110 Howard Lane, Napa www.bistrodongiovanni.com

Photo courtesy of Don Pericos

BEST

Mexican Food Don Perico Mexican Restaurant P 707-252-4707 • 1106 1st St., Napa • www.donpericos.com Don Perico reigns as Napa’s favorite Mexican Restaurant. Around for over 20 years, locals and visitors flock to the popular restaurant for its crowd-pleasing Mexican food, generous margaritas, and all-day happy hour. Open for lunch and dinner, guests can dine inside the festive restaurant or relax on the expansive patio to enjoy a copious selection of appetizers and traditional Mexican dishes such as burritos, tortilla soup, fajitas, and enchiladas. The beverage program includes artisan mescals and tequila and an impressive wine list.

Villa Corona • 2nd 707-963-7812 1138 Main St., St. Helena 707-257-8685 3614 Bel Air Plaza, Napa www.villacoronacatering.com

La Calenda • 3rd 833-682-8226 6518 Washington St., Yountville www.lacalendamex.com

BEST

Asian Food Napa PMorimoto 707-252-1600 • 610 Main St., Napa • www.morimotonapa.com Iron Chef Morimoto’s signature restaurant on the Napa River maintains its status as one of the best Asian dining experiences in Napa Valley. The juxtaposed traditional and contemporary ambiance serves as the perfect muse for Morimoto’s inventive Japanese menu, which includes a wide variety of sushi, sashimi, maki, salads, soup, unique entrees, and desserts. With high ceilings and glass walls, guests enjoy an open-air dining experience whether seated indoors or outside on the patio overlooking the Napa River. The bar is popular with locals on weekends, and for sake lovers, the Momosan Lounge is the only one of its kind devoted to sake and Japanese whiskey.

Eiko's Modern Japanese Cuisine • 2nd 707-501-4444 1300 First St., Suite 385, Napa www.eikosnapa.com 46

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Empress M • 3rd 707-927-5485 221 Silverado Trail, Napa www.empressmus.com Photo Courtesy of Eiko's

Since its opening in 1993, Bistro Don Giovanni, known to locals as “Don G’s,” has been a destination restaurant for locals and visitors alike. The menu is best known for its fresh interpretations of traditional Italian dishes, including hand-tossed, woodfired pizza, homemade pasta, and daily fish and meat specials that are sustainably farmed organically sourced. Whether dining outside in the garden, on the patio, or inside the cozy restaurant or bar, Don G’s menu, ambiance, and professional service always create a memorable experience.

Bottega Napa Valley • 2nd 707-945-1050 6525 Washington St., Yountville www.botteganapavalley.com Ristorante Allegria • 3rd 707-254-8006 • 1026 1st. St., Napa www.ristoranteallegria.com


local & organic ingredients ~ certified pizza napoletana

ca’ momi winery & italian wines ~ garden to glass cocktails

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BEST

BEST

Barbeque

Sushi

Bounty Hunter Wine Bar P & Smokin’ BBQ

Morimoto Napa P 707-252-1600 • 610 Main St., Napa

707-226-3976 • 975 First St., Napa www.bountyhunterwinebar.com

www.morimotonapa.com Since opening in 2010, Morimoto Napa has maintained its status as one of the Bay Area’s most popular places to eat and discover high-end Japanese cuisine. The creative menu includes an inventive selection of sushi, sashimi, and maki preparations made with the finest ingredients and served in artful presentations designed to delight the senses. Whether seated at the sushi bar, relaxed at a table indoors or out, a Morimoto experience is one to remember.

Located on First and Main in the heart of downtown Napa and housed in a historic 1880’s building, the Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ is best known for its finger-lickin’ BBQ and impressive wine list. The old-West themed locale serves up some of the area’s local favorite BBQ with signature dishes such as their BH Beer Can Chicken, St. Louis Ribs, Smoked Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork and Prime Rib- available by the sandwich or platter, along with a great selection of salads and sides.

Eiko’s Modern Japanese Cuisine • 2nd 707-501-4444 1300 First St., Suite 385, Napa www.eikosnapa.com

Busters Southern BBQ • 2nd 707-942-5605 1207 Foothill Blvd., Calistoga www.busterssouthernbbq.com Red Rock Café • 3rd 707-226-2633 1010 Lincoln Ave., Napa www.backdoorbbq.com

Sushi Mambo • 3rd 707-942-4699 1631 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga www.napasushi.com

BEST

Burger

Photo courtesy of Morimoto

P 707-224-6900 • 644 1st St., Napa Gotts Roadside

707-963-3486 • 933 Main St. (Hwy.29), • St. Helena www.gotts.com Founded in 1999 by brothers Joel and Duncan Gott, Gotts Roadside is regaled as Napa Valley’s best place to go for its casual vibe and California-inspired roadside menu. Using locally-sourced ingredients, the burger menu is plentiful with something for everyone. Favorites include their 100% Niman Ranch Angus beef burger and cheese with secret sauce, the California Burger, with a fried egg, bacon, and balsamic onions, and the sushi-grade ahi burger. Every beef burger selection is also available with Impossible meat for the plant-based clientele.

Goose & Gander • 2nd 707-967-8779 1245 Spring St., St. Helena www.goosegander.com Photo courtesy of Gotts Roadside

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The Charter Oak Restaurant • 3rd 707-302-6996 1050 Charter Oak Ave., St. Helena www.thecharteroak.com


Come on by and get the best burgers in town. get the best burgers in on by and town. Come

L O C A L LY O W N E D

F R E S H I N G R E D I E N T S P R E PA R E D D A I LY

Serving You for the Last 25 Years

Located at 1042 Freeway drive Napa.

(707) 259-1107 • andiescafenapavalley@gmail.com

andiescafenapavalley.com

Andies Cafe

andiescafe

3383 Solano Avenue Napa, ca 94558 | 707-257-6880 squeezeinnhamburgers.com

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BEST

Outdoor Dining Don Giovanni PBistro 707-224-3300 4110 Howard Lane, Napa www.bistrodongiovanni.com Avowed as one of Napa Valley’s favorite Italian and local restaurants, Bistro Don Giovanni never disappoints. The popular bistro presents fresh interpretations of traditional Italian dishes, all sustainably farmed and organically sourced. While scoring a table on the porch or patio is always preferred, the pandemic criteria for restaurants

compelled a fantastic expansion of its outdoor seating options among the gardens and fountain, creating an alfresco dining experience like no other in Napa. Fans are hopeful it will be here to stay.

Farmstead at Longmeadow Ranch • 2nd 707-963-4555 738 Main St., St. Helena www.longmeadowranch.com Auberge du Soleil • 3rd 707-963-1211 180 Rutherford Hill Rd., Rutherford www.aubergeresorts.com

Photo courtesy of Hog Island Oyster Co

Photo by Darren Brazil courtesy of Heritage Eats

BEST

Place for Seafood Hog Island Oyster Co. P 707-251-8113 • 610 1st St., Napa www.hogislandoysters.com

BEST

Vegetarian Menu Options Heritage Eats P 707-226-3287 • 3824 Bel Aire Plaza, Napa • www.heritageeats.com Ben and Ali Koenig take the prize for serving up some of Napa Valley’s exciting, fresh food presented in a unique menu that showcases world culture and flavors from exotic locations such as Southeast Asia, India, Mexico, and Egypt. To meet any craving or food preference, patrons can choose from their suggested menu items or mix and match their own flavor combinations for salads and rice bowls, tacos, bao buns, and wraps. Heritage Eats also offers a local catering program and recently launched a food truck- The Best Food Truck in Napa.

R + D Kitchen • 2nd 707-945-0920 6795 Washington St., Yountville www.Rd-kitchen.com 50

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The Dutch Door • 3rd 707-500-8822 1245 1st St., Napa www.thedutchdoornapa.com

Hog Island Oyster Bar at the Oxbow Public Market is Napa’s hot spot to slurp down fresh-farmed oysters, shucked on-demand or ordered by the bushel to go. Hog Island prides itself on raising the best quality, sustainable shellfish on 160 acres of intertidal lands in Tomales Bay. Patrons may gather at the seated bar or outside on the deck to enjoy Hog Island’s sumptuous oysters, clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp and savory seafood entrées, organic salads, and small plates that showcase local fishermen, farmers, and artisan food producers in the local region.

Morimoto Napa • 2nd 707-252-1600 610 Main St., Napa www.morimotonapa.com Eiko’s Modern Japanese Cuisine • 3rd 707-501-4444 1300 First St., Suite 385, Napa www.eikosnapa.com


BEST

also carries an impressive selection of local wines, which avail the epicurean a bountiful dining experience.

Place for a Sandwich Oakville Grocery P 707-944-8802 7856 St. Helena Hwy., Oakville www.oakvillegrocery.com Oakville Grocery has been a wine country institution since its opening in 1881. Conveniently located on Hwy. 29 in the heart of Napa Valley, the idyllic locale is a vibrant gathering place for locals and visitors to enjoy a gourmet lunch hanging at one of the outdoor picnic tables or packing to-go to enjoy on a wine country itinerary. The creative menu offers a robust selection of freshly prepared hot and cold sandwiches served on artisan breads along with gourmet salads and sides. Popular choices include the Muffaletta, Roast Turkey and Bacon, Roast Beef with olive tapenade, and the toasted Chicken Gruyere with balsamic onions. Oakville Grocery

Genova Delicatessen • 2nd 707-253-8686 1550 Trancas St., Napa www.genovadelinapa.com W F Giugni & Son • 3rd 707-963-3421 1227 Main St., St. Helena www.giugnis.com

BEST

Upscale Restaurant The French Laundry P 707-944-2380 6640 Washington St., Yountville www.thomaskeller.com/tfl Renowned as one of the world’s finest restaurants, The French Laundry has served as the linchpin for Napa

Voted #1 in Napa Valley for

BEST SEAFOOD

Valley’s reputation as one of North America’s top foodie destinations since its opening in 1994. Consistently a tough reservation to secure, the restaurants’ distinctive menu, curated daily with the finest quality ingredients and sourced from its on-premise organic gardens, and its commitment to serving classic French cuisine with an intense focus on impeccable guest service have earned it Michelin’s highest rating of three stars, a status it has maintained since 2007.

Coles Chophouse • 2nd 707-224-MEAT 1122 Main St., Napa www.coleschophouse.com The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil • 3rd 800-348-5406 180 Rutherford Hill Rd., Rutherford www.aubergeresorts.com/ aubergedusoleil

Visit the Oyster Bar in the Oxbow Public Market

HOG ISLAND OYSTER CO.® is a California Benefit Corporation | hogislandoysters.com

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BEST

Bakery

Bouchon Bakery P 707-944-2253 6528 Washington St., Yountville www.thomaskeller.com

Since its opening in 2003, Bouchon Bakery has had a trove of sweet-toothed locals and visitors lined up along Yountville’s busy Washington Street, anxious to score some of the bakery’s fresh bakery creations – artisanal bread, traditional French desserts, handmade viennoiserie, confections,

BEST

Place for Breakfast/Brunch Boon Fly Café P 707-299-4870 • 4048 Sonoma Hwy., Napa • www.boonflycafe.com Boon Fly Café maintains its long-standing position as Napa’s favorite place for breakfast or brunch. Located in South Napa at the Carneros Resort, the cozy café serves modern-rustic cuisine in a contemporary roadhouse atmosphere where guests come from miles around for their famous homemade Boon Fly Donuts, Banana Bread with lemon curd and berries, avocado toast, griddle cakes, fried chicken and waffles, and green eggs and ham. Other brunch items include sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, burgers, and fish tacos.

Model Bakery • 2nd 707-259-1128 • 644 1st St., Napa 707-963-8192 • 1357 Main St., St Helena www.themodelbakery.com Southside Café • 3rd Carneros- 2770 Old Sonoma Rd. Yountville- 6752 Washington St. Century- 135 Gasser Dr., Suite B www.southsidenapa.com

pastries, tarts, and cookies. Espresso drinks and coffee custom-blended by Equator Coffees & Teas are also offered year-round. In addition, the bakery serves goodies to enjoy on-site or to go and caters for weddings and special occasions.

Model Bakery • 2nd 707-259-1128 644 1st St., Napa 707-963-8192 1357 Main St., St Helena www.themodelbakery.com Buttercream Bakery & Diner • 3rd 707-255-6700 2297 Jefferson St., Napa www.buttercreambakery.com

BEST

Boutique Lodging Inn PHarvest 707-963-9463 1 Main St., St. Helena www.harvestinn.com Located in St. Helena among eight acres of vineyards, Harvest Inn “captures the charm of vineyard life, mixing California contemporary living with storybook charm.” Conveniently located about a mile from downtown St. Helena, the relaxed, shady property is upscale in experience and cozy in feel. Its country-chic rooms, suites, and cottages, some with fireplaces, private decks, and whirlpool tubs, offer sweeping views of vineyards and the Mayacamas Mountains. Guests enjoy additional amenities such as spa treatments, access to a golf club, a cigar program, and fine dining at the Harvest Table, an award-winning restaurant on site.

Napa River Inn • 2nd 707-251-8500 500 Main St., Napa www.napariverinn.com

Photo courtesy of Boon Fly Cafe

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Brannan Cottage Inn • 3rd 707-942-4200 109 Wappo Ave., Calistoga www.brannancottageinn.com


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One of The Best in Napa Valley in the Best Boutique Lodging Category Brannan Cottage Inn is an artful blend of history, modern luxury, and warm hospitality. w w w. B r a n n a n C o t t a g e I n n . c o m

HOME OF

Calistoga, CA

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BEST

Hotel/ Resort du Soleil PAuberge 707-963-1211 180 Rutherford Hill Rd., Rutherford www.aubergeresorts.com/ aubergedusoleil Known as the “Quintessential Napa Valley Adult Getaway,” Auberge du Soleil’s 50-room contemporary resort “The Inn of the Sun,” tucked into a terraced hillside surrounded by 33-acres of heritage olive and oak trees, boasts some of the most spectacular views in Napa Valley. The resort was built five years after the successful launch of French Restaurateur Claude Rouas and partner Bob Harmon’s fine-dining restaurant, Auberge du Soleil, in 1981. The iconic luxury property offers private maisons, classic and deluxe rooms, and suites touting exceptional service and unique guest experiences.

Photo courtesy of Spa Terra at Meritage Resort

BEST

Day Spa/Salon Spa Terra at Meritage Resort P 707-251-3000 • 875 Bordeaux Way, Napa www.meritagecollection.com Escape to the heart of the earth at the Meritage Resort’s Spa Terra. Located beneath the vineyards in the underground Estate Cave, Spa Terra offers guests a tranquil backdrop and peaceful serenity for their therapeutic treatments for total relaxation. The locally sourced menu of offerings includes a unique, “cave-inspired” stone massage or facial, aromatherapy, deep tissue and CBD massages for individuals or couples, and even an “Un-Wine’d Massage” featuring a glass of Trinitas wine. An expansive menu of facial, skincare, and body treatments are a perfect pairing for any wine country getaway.

Meritage Resort & Spa • 2nd 707-251-1900 875 Bordeaux Way., Napa www.meritagecollection.com Archer Hotel Napa • 3rd 855-437-9100 • 1230 1st St., Napa www.archerhotel.com

Spa Solage • 2nd 707-226-0800 755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga www.aubergeresorts.com/ solage/spa/

Silverado Resort & Spa • 3rd 707-257-5474 1600 Atlas Peak Rd., Napa www.silveradoresort.com

BEST

Golf Course Resort PSilverado 707-257-0200 • 1600 Atlas Peak Rd., Napa www.silveradoresort.com/napa-valley-golf Touted as one of Golfweek’s best resort courses, golfing at Silverado invites players to walk in the footsteps of some of golf’s greatest champions. Designed by PGA Hall of Famer and owner, Johnny Miller, and surrounded by Napa Valley’s golden hills, the two championship PGA courses offer some of the nation’s award-winning golf, winning such accolades as Trip Advisors’ 2101 Travelers Choice Award, Golfweek’s 2021 Best Courses You Can Play, and the 2020 CGCOA Course of the Year Award—to name a few. Limited to members and resort guests, a day on links promises an exclusive and all-time classic golf experience.

Napa Valley Country Club • 2nd 707-252-1111 3385 Hagen Rd., Napa www.napavalleycc.com 54

NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM

Vintners Golf Club • 3rd 707-944-1992 7901 Solano Ave., Yountville www.vintnersgolfclub.com Photo courtesy of Silverado Resort


Where Away Truly Feels That Way A spa journey is about reflecting inward and grounding yourself. At Spa Terra, your experience is heightened by wandering beneath our vineyards to experience our tranquil environment, located inside an underground Estate Cave. Relax in the hushed serenity of our unique spa setting, and experience restorative treatments for total relaxation. Choose from our unique menu of offerings, including our Healing Touch Massage, Aroma Wellness Journey, Guided Breathing and Meditation Sessions, or our CBD Massages. Spa Terra, at the Meritage Resort, was recently awarded high marks by Spas of America earning a spot on the 2021 Top 100 Spas in the United States os America Award. This indubious award ranked Spa Terra as the #1 Spa in Napa Valley, #6 Spa in California, and #56 Spa in the United States. With 12 treatment rooms, whirlpools, steam rooms, and a relaxation room, here, guests truly feel immersed in the seclusion of their surroundings.

FIND BALANCE

meritageresort.com

875 Bordeaux Way, Napa, CA

(707) 251-3000

@MeritageResort

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BEST

Art Collection & Galleries The Hess Collection P at Hess Persson Estate

Thank You!!

FOR VOTING US BEST JEWELRY STORE!

707-255-1144 • 4411 Redwood Rd., Napa www.hessperssonestates.com The Hess Collection Art Gallery at the Hess Persson Estate winery offers a unique experience of wine and art in Napa Valley. Founder Donald Hess began collecting art in 1966 and collects art “with an uncanny ability to identify lesser-known artists who often go on become well-known and highly respected in their disciplines.” Guests who visit the Mt. Veeder winery are offered an exclusive opportunity to reserve a guided tour of the impressive Hess Art Collection and partake in a menu of estate wine tasting experiences to polish off the day.

di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art • 2nd 707-226-5991 • 5200 Sonoma Hwy., Napa www.dirosaart.org 1300 FIRST ST #365, NAPA VALLEY, CA 707-224-0997 | NAPAVALLEYJEWELERS.COM

Yountville Art Walk • 3rd 707-948-2627 • 6516 Washington St., Yountville www.yountvillearts.com

BEST

Jewelry Store Valley Jewelers PNapa 707-224-0997 1300 1st St., Suite 365, Napa www.napavalleyjewelers.com Napa Valley Jewelers has been providing the Napa Valley area with a personalized shopping experience offering a wide array of jewelry and unique pieces crafted from precious metals and gems for over 25 years. Since opening their new store on 1st Street, they introduced a curated collection of art glass created from the who’s who of artists worldwide. Napa Valley Jewelers prides itself on its commitment to bringing its customers exceptional, personalized customer service with jewelry that will fit anyone’s budget.

Padis Jewelry • 2nd 707-963-2288 • 1400 1st. St., Napa www.padisgems.com Creations Fine Jewelers • 3rd 707-252-8131 3341 Solano Ave., Napa www.creationsfinejewelers.com 56

NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM


Installation by Andy Goldsworthy, one of over 20 artists represented at the Hess Art Museum

High atop Mount Veeder, Hess Persson Estates welcomes you to the Napa Valley. Whether you wish to enjoy beautifully crafted wine and food pairings from our culinary team, learn to blend wine, or stroll through the Hess Family’s awe-inspiring private art collection — we have an experience tailored for you.

B O O K Y O U R E X P E R I E N C E T O D AY AT H E S S P E R S S O N E S TAT E S .C O M Tastings, museum visits and experiences are by appointment only.

4411 REDWOOD ROAD | NAPA, CA | 707.255.1144 | HESSPERSSONESTATES.COM @HESSCOLLECTION | @LIONSHEADWINES

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BEST

BEST

Boutique Shopping for Women

Wine Country Event Napa Valley PBottleRock Napa Valley Expo, Napa • www.bottlerocknapavalley.com BottleRock, now in its 11th season, attracts over 120,000 concert-goers to wine country for a three-day music festival that headlines some of the world’s greatest bands and showcases Napa Valley’s best food and local wines. The BottleRock Culinary stage has also developed a cult following with its one-of-a-kind culinary and celebrity mashups. Produced by Latitude 38 Entertainment and JamCellars, the six-stage event is hosted on the grounds of the Napa Valley Expo and touts itself as the only major concert series that shares the best of music, wine, food, and beer with Napa Valley.

Napa Valley Porchfest • 2nd www.napaporchfest.org Auction Napa Valley • 3rd www.napavintners.org

Lifestyle PBoHo 707-337-5870 • 1012 1st St., Napa www.shopboholifestyle.com Since its opening in 2013, Boho Lifestyle has instilled a playful spirit into its culture, as well as its clothing and accessories. Touting the tagline- “It’s not just a place to shop, it’s a lifestyle,” the all women-owned boutique on Napa’s busy 1st Street carries hip, affordable local clothing, shoes, hats, lots of gorgeous jewelry and accessories that are diverse, affordable, and appeal to all ages. In addition, Boho has established an extensive training course for their employees on how to best dress women based on trends, body shapes, and personality, making it a great place for shopping for all ages.

Honey Whisky Boutique • 2nd 707-775-9233 1300 1st St., #335, Napa www.honeywhiskeyca.com Sugar + Lemon • 3rd 707-225-1544 • 1322 3rd St., Napa www.napasugar.com

Photo courtesy of BottleRock

BEST

Dog-Friendly HangOut Park PAlston 2037 Dry Creek Road., Napa • www.cityofnapa.org Alston Park consists of 157 acres of rolling open hills on North Napa’s Dry Creek Road. Owned by the City of Napa, the park contains three miles of winding trails for walking, hiking, horseback riding, mountainbiking- and of course, dog walking. Surrounded by vineyards, an old plum orchard, and meadows, its elevations provide sweeping views of Napa Valley. The most popular spot is Canine Commons, where dogs can roam and run off-leash and locals gather-- especially on weekends.

R + D Kitchen • 2nd 707-945-0920 6795 Washington St., Yountville www.rd-kitchen.com 58

NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM

Gotts Roadside • 3rd 707-224-6900 644 1st St., Napa www.gotts.com Photo courtesy of Alston Park


2022 OF NAPA VALLEY

Editor's

Choice

Each year it is always a challenge to narrow down the voting categories to include the best of everything Napa Valley offers. In the Editor's Choice section, we recognize some outlier businesses that didn't fall into a designated category but were outstanding in their genre and deserved an honorable mention.

Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Lobster Co

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BEST

New Catering Company Napa Valley Lobster Co. P www.napavalleylobsterco.com Napa Valley Lobster Co. offers the region’s most authentic, southernstyle lobster feeds right in the comfort of your own backyard. Sumptuous boils of Maine lobster, veggies, and all the accouterments are cooked fresh and whimsically poured out on the table for eating fun. Perfect for parties of 10 to 500.

Photo by Lisa Fonville courtesy of Ox and the Fox

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New Place to Hang Out Ox and the Fox P 1331 1st St., Napa • www.firstandfranklin.com Located in the First & Franklin Marketplace on 1st Street, the Ox and the Fox is a perfect spot to start or finish a night downtown. The open-air, farmhouse industrial design is welcoming, comfortable, and approachable for anyone, particularly the local crowd. The menu includes locally produced boutique wines and beers along with a fun menu offering small plates, bites, and desserts. Weekdays feature a great happy hour and bottomless mimosas on Sundays. Hours: Thursday to Monday from 3 p.m.- Midnight

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Place to Hear Live Music Blue Note @ Charles Krug P Concert Series 2800 Main St., St. Helena www.bluenotenapa.com During the summer of 2021, due to COVID restrictions for indoor concerts, The Blue Note collaborated with Charles Krug Winery to launch an outdoor summer concert series to appreciative crowds hungry for live music. The popular venue was hosted in an intimate setting and featured performances from Grammy-winning

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New Restaurant Lounge PWilfred’s 967 First St., Napa www.wilfredslounge.com Located on the banks of the Napa River at 967 First Street in the heart of downtown Napa, Wilfred’s Lounge offers an authentic Tiki experience with Island-inspired cocktails, food, and surroundings. Wilfred’s Lounge appeals to locals looking for a fun, new hangout and visitors seeking a fresh scene after a day of wine exploration, featuring rooftop views of the Napa River. Photo60 courtesy of Wilfreds Lounge NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM


artists such as Los Lobos, Pink Martini, Damien Escobar, Kenny G, KT Tunstall, and Taj Mahal to name just a few.

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Local Favorite Annual Event Calistoga Lighted P Tractor Parade www.donapa.com

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Intriguing Dining Venue Village @ Charter Oak PYurt 1050 Charter Oak Ave., St. Helena • www.thecharteroak.com In partnership with American Express and RESY!, St. Helena’s popular Charter Oak Restaurant transformed its outdoor courtyard into a Yurt Village. The cozy, heated yurts offer diners private dining experiences with pre-fixe menus and are outfitted with unique botanical themes from The Charter Oak’s nearby 3.5-acre farm.

Napa Valley’s favorite family holiday event, now in its 25th year, returned to Calistoga to delight thousands of spectators from around the Bay Area. At this annual event, over 50 lighted tractors, trucks, busses, and other floats on wheels roll out all the stops as they parade down Lincoln Avenue, showcasing some of wine country’s most spectacular holiday displays. Local businesses take the competition seriously, including wineries, vineyards, schools, and local government agencies, and high-ticket prizes are awarded for the best-decorated float or theme.

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Innovative New Business

PiPOKEShack 1758 Industrial Way, Ste. 107 www.ipokeshack.com Local Restauranter and Independent Real Estate Broker Mark Mazotti brought Hawaiianthemed fare to Napa online with his technology-driven ghost restaurant concept, iPOKEshack Pop-Ups. Operated 100 percent online, the dishes are modeled after the mom-and-pop shops throughout the Hawaiian Islands, where Poke is a staple food. The pop-up events are hosted at their Pop-Up pick-up location in their commercial kitchen in South Napa. Based on its success, Mazotti has expanded the pop-up events to include iRAMENshack on and iDIMSUMshack.

Yurt Village // Photo by Kelly Puleio courtesy of The Charter Oak

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NVL winery spotlight

FORTHRIGHT WINERY A Craft. A Code. A Fellowship.

 BY ELIZABETH SMITH | PHOTOS COURTESY OF FORTHRIGHT WINERY Ed Stritch

Selcuk Sanliturk

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orthright Winery is the story of four men – Patrick McEvoy, Rafer Caudill, Selcuk Sanliturk, and Ed Stritch – who have known each other for decades and have a collective dream of and passion for wine. The name Forthright demonstrates the foursome’s philosophy and approach in both winemaking and life: to be honest, direct, and straightforward. “Our purpose is simple,” said McEvoy. “We want to produce fantastic wines that reflect our values and way of life, which mainly involves enjoying the Craic with our friends and family. If you don’t know the term Craic, it is the Irish word for ‘good times.’ Come visit our cave, and we’ll teach you all about it.” Forthright stands out among its peers for many reasons. First, two of the proprietors, McEvoy and Caudill, are also the winemakers, and there are no additional employees. The two share the day-to-day responsibilities of both production and hospitality. While their approach to winemaking is minimalistic, they host in the winery’s 6,000-square-foot cave, where guests are surrounded by all 62

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Rafer Caudill

things winemaking. Visits include tasting finished wines by the bottle and the occasional barrel tasting, accompanied by lots of storytelling and laughs. “Guests get to know us firsthand in an engaging way. They witness our genuine camaraderie and enthusiasm for what we do, which is rare in this industry,” said McEvoy. Second, Forthright’s focus is Oak Knoll District Merlot, and they make it well, as evidenced by receiving two gold medals at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards. Out of 16,518 wines reviewed, only 537 won gold, and only 16 of those were from the United States. The Forthright label design also reveals the partners’ love of the Merlot grape varietal. It features a blackbird, which in French is called un merle. The grape’s name, Merlot, is believed to be a diminutive of merle; Merlot was named for its blueblack iridescent skin. Ripened grapes also attract blackbirds, one of the several bird species that love to eat ripe grapes. In 2016, Stritch suggested making a Pinot Noir, one of his favorite varietal wines. The response was, “We can’t make a Pinot Noir! We don't have a vineyard source for

Patrick McEvoy

that varietal!” Shortly thereafter, he was surprised to discover they had sourced Pinot Noir grapes from the Russian River Valley and produced “The Stritch,” a Pinot Noir appropriately named after him. They even developed a new unit of measurement, defining “The Stritch” as “the distance between our bottle and your lips.” While Forthright is Merlot focused, it is not exclusively. McEvoy and Caudill are always looking for unique opportunities to expand their portfolio. “Port, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, why the hell not!” is their motto. Caudill believes, “People will get to know us for our Cabernet Sauvignon, but it will be our Merlot that makes us famous.” Plan a visit to experience a warm and friendly introduction to Forthright’s world of enduring fellowship, honesty, joy, storytelling, and unwavering commitment to hand-crafted and elegant wines.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.forthrightwinery.com



NVL wine spotlight

KUKERI Wines with the Wow Factor  BY LAYNE RANDOLPH | PHOTOS COURTESY OF KUKERI WINES

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he Kukeri is a centuries-old Bulgarian tradition that begins after the new year and continues through Lent. Townspeople dance in costume and animal-like masks to chase away evil winter spirits, celebrate new beginnings, and give blessings for good health and a good harvest. So, it was fitting for Winemaker Petar Kirilov to use Kukeri as the name of his California wine brand in honor of his country’s history and traditions. “I lived in small Bulgarian towns where 80 percent of the people made their own wine, so I was introduced to wine at a very early age, helping my father with grape harvesting and winemaking. We used no chemicals or other winemaking additives, just what nature gives you. In Bulgaria, we produce intense, tannic, and mainly Bordeaux varietal grapes.” Naturally, Kirilov is an enthusiastic fan of Bulgaria. He raves about the Black Sea, skiing in the mountains, the great food, and the developing wine country. He studied winemaking at the University of Food Technologies in Bulgaria and received a master’s degree in winemaking. He then came 64

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to the United States to make wine with small family wineries like Truchard Vineyards. But he did not plan to stay this long. He explained why he chose to stay and said, “I liked the weather a lot, and I liked how clean and nice the vineyards were, and each one was different and unique. So I decided to stay here and explore the quality wines and the winemaking process behind them.” Explore, he did. In 2010, he crushed his first fruit—cabernet sauvignon from Mount Veeder—and bottled it under his Kukeri label in 2013. Less than a decade later, the awards and achievements are piling up. His 2018 Kukeri Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon received 100 points and won Best of Class at the 2020 Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition, the 2017 Kukeri Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon won a Gold Medal from the 2021 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and the 2018 Kukeri Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon won Best of Class and 99 points from the 2021 Santé International Wine and Spirits Competition.

The boutique, hand-crafted, small-production Kukeri wines reflect a deep, intense Bordeaux style, and the Cabernet Sauvignons have a touch of Bulgarian intensity. They are meant to enjoy now and age beautifully. “I want to make wine that lasts and has that “Wow” factor,” Kirilov shared. Kukeri Wines are available direct-toconsumer online, but they are also favorites in steakhouses, such as Las Vegas’s Barry’s Downtown Prime and The Cosmopolitan Casino Restaurant, and in Bay Area shops like Sonoma Wine Shop, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, and Mission Bay Wine and Cheese Shop. Kirilov has increased his production accordingly. “I started with fifty cases a year, and every year it grows a little bit more. Now it’s 1500 cases a year.” The choice of the Kukeri name was foretelling. His native country’s Kukeri celebrations include rhythmic dance for blessings of prosperity. After almost two decades in California, Kirilov’s wine is a success; he has married and has two daughters. The Kukeri have undoubtedly bestowed their blessings. FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.kukeriwines.com


“ BES T nort h a meric a n w inery ” The Discoverer Blog

OPEN DAILY 10AM - 6PM | please call to make an appointment or speak to our concierge Rutherford, Napa Valley | 707.963.3600 | PEJU.COM BEST OF 2022

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NVL winemaker spotlight living under a bridge than being tied to a paycheck and a corner office. There was no turning back.” His desire to study enology and viticulture at the University of California Davis was met with derision. A high school grad with mediocre grades, he was rejected by the UCD dean of admissions, who told him to attend junior college instead, which he did. Two years later, he was not only accepted to UCD, but he also received the coveted UCD Regents Scholarship. In addition, he earned a fellowship from the International Wine and Food Society and an internship at Maison Chapoutier after graduation. Later in 2009, while working as an associate winemaker at Nickel & Nickel, Arcudi met Heidi Barrett at a winemaker’s conference; she was intrigued with his Naval experience as her father-in-law had also served on Navy submarines. After a successful blind tasting where Barrett and her team asked Arcudi to describe three wines, she took him on as an assistant, and he has been at her side ever since. In 2016 he became winemaker at Kapcsándy Family wines, where he earned two 100point ratings on his first vintage, followed by multiple 100-point ratings.

A Vineyard Road Less Travelled:

winemaker

TONY ARCUDI  BY FRAN MILLER

| PHOTO BY BOB McCLENAHAN

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rom Naval missile navigation engineer to IBM product manager to award-winning winemaker, Tony Arcudi’s path to Napa Valley was not of the straight and narrow variety. At age 38, the winemaker and owner of the eponymously named ARCUDI Wines hopped in his car and drove west from his native Boston, not knowing what might await but feeling that it was a now-or-never proposition. “I’d had a great career in the tech sector, but it just wasn’t for me,” said Arcudi, whose early experiences helping his mom

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in the kitchen inspired a love of good food and wine. A particular glass of Châteauneuf du Pape, enjoyed in his late 20s, sealed his fate. “That glass shook me to the bone,” said Arcudi. “At that moment, wine for me went from simply being a beverage to being an experience. I knew I was missing my calling.” It took a decade before he made the leap. When he left for California, he had no plan, just desire and determination. “I had to give it a try,” said Arcudi. “I knew deep down I’d be happier making wine and

“ At that moment, wine for me went from simply being a beverage to being an experience. I knew I was missing my calling.” “After ten years, I was an overnight success,” joked Arcudi, whose luscious, small production, single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons are made with grapes grown in distinguished vineyards throughout Napa Valley. Said Robert Parker Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown of the ARCUDI wines, “These are consistently solid wines with a lot of expression and soul.” “When I first arrived in the Valley, Napa was a walled garden, and I was an outsider,” said Arcudi. “It was one wall after the next, but as Marcus Aurelius tells us, the obstacle is the way. The walls were tests to find out if I really wanted to do this.” Clearly, he did. The proof is in every bottle of ARCUDI. FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.arcudiwines.com


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NVL winery spotlight

ROCCA FAMILY VINEYARDS

Hand Crafted, Organically Farmed, Family Owned

The Rocca team; Dr. Eric Grigsby, Mary Rocca, Tom Sherwood, Angelique Ball, Sergio Melgoza

Rocca Family Vineyards collection // Photos courtesy of Rocca Family Vineyards

 BY ELIZABETH SMITH

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n Devlin Road, just south of the city of Napa, lies one of the area’s hidden gems, the Rocca House by Rocca Family Vineyards. Mary Rocca purchased the restored Victorian home in 2009, which dates from 1864. It is possibly Napa Valley’s oldest residence not on the historical registry, tucked away from the hustle and bustle, a tranquil oasis near Suscol Creek. With clear-day views of the Napa River and Mayacamas Mountains in the distance, it’s an enduring testament to days past. Further north, Mary Rocca and her husband, Dr. Eric Grigsby, own two estate vineyards, the 21-acre Grigsby Vineyard in Yountville and 11-acre Collinetta Vineyard in Coombsville. Both are certified organic and hold Napa Green and Fish Friendly Farming certifications. The Rocca-Grigsby family acquired Grigsby in 1999 and Collinetta – a former walnut tree farm and horse pasture – in 2000. Since the beginning, vineyard manager Sergio Melgoza has been with Rocca, rehabilitating Grigsby and planting Collinetta. He knows both vineyards so well that they have become what the Rocca team calls an “extension of Sergio.” Grigsby is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc, and Collinetta to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. 68

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Before harvest 2021, Rocca hired Australian-born winemaker Tom Sherwood to collaborate with Melgoza and his longtime crew – Arcelia, Fredy, Francisco, Margarita, Ernesto, Jaime, Maria Elena, Christian, and Juan Carlos – to create an ideal combination of viticulture and winemaking talent who are taking a laserfocused approach to produce organically farmed, elegant and balanced wines that express what Sherwood calls “the true character of each vineyard’s specific personality.” The resulting wines of the small but mighty Rocca team make their way to the restored salon of the Rocca House, where guests relax comfortably and enjoy an intimate opportunity to listen to Rocca’s story and actively engage with their wine host. They have the choice of two experiences – one that includes four current releases or four estate red wines and a library vintage – both paired with artisan cheeses. Rocca’s wine tasting presentation focuses on their two single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons from Grigsby and Collinetta, their estate red wine, Vespera – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot – and Chardonnay from the Ulysses Valdez (UV) Vineyard of Sonoma Coast.

The experience is memorable because Rocca only hosts appointments one at a time, where guests receive dedicated time and attention. Rocca’s General Manager, Angelique Ball, said, “Our goal at Rocca Family Vineyards is to give our guests a new perspective on wine appreciation and focus on what makes the wines of our estate vineyards and Napa Valley so special. It’s all about the time and place and the people.” The future of Rocca Family Vineyards will also include launching a new estategrown white wine, but they do not plan to increase production quantities. Instead, they will continue their 22-yearlong focus on growing and making an all-estate portfolio of the highest quality, from vineyard to bottle. Rocca sells its limited production wines exclusively direct to their customers through their allocation membership. Added Ball, “We love to connect with people who not only admire our wines but also value our dedicated organic farming and winemaking philosophy.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.roccawines.com


BE A WINEMAKER FOR A DAY The Barrel Blending Experience® at Conn Creek is an opportunity to explore, taste, and blend Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy a guided tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon from distinctly different areas of this famed wine region. After learning blending techniques and strategies, you’ll experience what it’s like to be a winemaker and craft your own custom blend to bottle and take home. Reservations are available Thursday through Monday at 10:30am and 2:00pm

CCK 1763257 ©2022 Conn Creek Winery, St. Helena CA, 94574

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NVL wine spotlight

Photos Courtesy of Prolific Beverage

NAPA’S PROLIFIC BEVERAGE No Winery, No Tasting Room, No Problem Selling 95+ Point Wines  BY LAURIE JO MILLER FARR

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rolific Beverage has no vineyard, no winery, and no tasting room. Established in 2012, ahead of its time without bricks and mortar presence, the founding mission of this business was to produce a variety of small artisanal Napa wines for purchase online, and through select wine distributors across the U.S. Today, that solution is more successful than ever. Based on the strength of relationships with his long-established network of retailers, distributors, winemakers, growers, and importers, Napa native Jason Hooten has been committed to micro-handcrafted wine brands for the past ten years.

DIRECT TO CONSUMER WINES “Who we are and what you get is easy to explain,” said Jason. “There are three basics to know: A majority of our wine brands are sourced in Napa and surrounding Northern California. Second, we offer a wide array of great wines ranging from $14.99 to $112 per bottle. Third, and most notably, many of our wines are rated 92 to 96 points from Christopher Sawyer, one of the industry’s top sommeliers.”

PROLIFIC’S PORTFOLIO Three brands distinguish the portfolio in approachable price brackets, with Andrew Cain 70

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— formed by combining the middle names of Jason and his brother Jonathan — on the luxury side. These limited production single vineyard wines have an Old World style that’s terroir-driven. Andrew Cain wines are known for their incredible balance of acid, fruit, and tannins crafted with Napa’s most notable winemakers, including Mark Jessup and Eric Lyman.

“In the glass, lush flavors are complemented by silky texture and a smooth, long, graceful finish.” — Christopher Sawyer, sommelier Andrew Cain 2013 Oak Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon, 96 pts ONE is a 100% varietal mid-range in a collection of Cabernet Sauvignon featuring significant Napa sources: Atlas Peak, Oakville, Yountville, and Calistoga, each with only a few hundred cases produced. ONE FLOCK is the entry-level label that’s been tapped as a “best buy” by Wine

Enthusiast, earning as high as 95 points on their recent 2020 Red Blend. This brand has received numerous medals from regional and international wine competitions. These are very approachable wines with some amazing complexity stemming from the “flock” of grapes, which includes spicy Zinfandel, bold Cabernet Sauvignon, inky Syrah, and tasty Merlot, and then add to that, an exceptional price point under $20. It goes without saying, all Prolific brands thrive on quality, taste, value, and consistency.

PRIVATE LABEL WINES “Bring your ideas to life.” It’s easy to create a customized wine with an original label. Choose a favorite varietal, a budget, and start dreaming up a bottle label design. For as little as 10 cases per order, Prolific Beverage partners with individuals, businesses, and restaurateurs interested in having a “private label” brand for collecting, gifting, or reselling by the bottle or glass. This is made possible because Prolific handles all aspects of ensuring these wine labels are approved by The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for domestic sale. FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.prolificbeverage.com 707-501-7885


Ample. Textured. Profound. A pure revelation of our Spring Mountain Estate.

w w w. n e w t o n v i n e ya rd . c o m


NVL winemaker spotlight

MIGU E L CARATAC H E A :

A Napa Valley Treasure  BY LAYNE RANDOLPH

Photo by Dakota Salazar

Recently acclaimed wines made with Caratachea’s assistance. // Photo by Hal Brandes

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n early October 2017, wildfires broke out across Napa Valley. Over the next month, these wildfires would break records for the most damage and loss of life in California Wine Country history. Luckily, Winemaker Miguel Caratachea had sensed the extent of the impending danger. So in the early morning hours of October 8, he called his crew up to Spring Mountain for an emergency harvest. Later that night, Napa Valley was encircled in flames. That wine, Punch Vineyards’ 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Bracero, became the last snapshot of the 2017 Napa Valley vintage before the fires. It was later ranked second in the world in Robert Whitley’s 2021 Sommelier Challenge. The youngest son of a bracero (guest agricultural worker), Miguel began making wine when he was 14, working after school and on weekends at Frogs Leap Winery.

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Winemaking came naturally to Miguel, and after graduation, he was immediately hired by Stonegate Winery. Since then, his career has flourished, so much so that his Punch Vineyards wines were selected for the Smithsonian exhibit at the Napa Valley Museum in 2017. As Miguel’s reputation grew, more winemakers asked for his input. “Miguel has become an integral part of our winemaking team, providing key insight in ways to get the most out of the grapes we use. His dedication to all aspects in the winemaking process reflects the quality in the glass,” praised Tom Bougetz, owner and winemaker at Bougetz Cellars in St. Helena. Robert Parker Wine Advocate gave 90-plus scores to Bougetz’s entire selection of current releases. Miguel has been instrumental in nearly one hundred 90+ point scores. “Miguel may not be a household name, but he helps many wineries earn big scores. Every wine Miguel touches gets better. He is a Napa Valley treasure,” said luxury winemaking consultant Kian Tavakoli. Miguel’s partner in Punch Vineyards, Lee Nordlund, describes Miguel’s reputation among his peers. “In the early days of Punch, one of Napa Valley’s all-time

top-scoring winemakers stared me down and said, ‘Lee, your wines are so good it makes me angry!’ I said, ‘Don’t blame me. Miguel made the wine.’ ‘Ah, Miguel,’ said the winemaker.” “Miguel has a sixth sense for grapes,” commented Mark Marinozzi, owner of Vitesse Vineyards. “He mixes current techniques with secrets of the old masters and crazy ideas of his own. You can’t teach what he knows.” Miguel described his unique approach, “If a client wants me to make a wine for ratings, I can do that, but I like to make more artistic wines. I challenge myself with the idea that in a great wine, everything comes from the grapes - flavors, acidity, a complete range of tannins, and textures – all are right there in the fruit, but you have to know how to unlock them.” Nordlund considers Miguel a true artist. “Miguel is the Vincent Van Gogh of Napa Valley. He taught himself how to make wine, and his flavors and textures are dazzling. He has no set recipe. He was just born with this gift, and he never stops working.” FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.punchvineyards.com www.bougetzcellars.com www.vitessevineyards.com


1915

••• Discover the finest and most unique wine storage facility ser ving Napa, Sonoma, and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Rutherford Wine Vault is located in the historic Beaulieu Vineyard champagne depar tment - a meticulously transformed 110 year -old space. The vault features storage solutions for individual wine collectors and small vintners. Each locker is equipped with custom designed seismically independent racking systems, lockable private steel storage enclosures, redundant temperature and humidity controls, and more than five layers of state-of-the-ar t security systems. ••• FINE WINE IS ONE OF LIFE’S GREAT TREASURES. ISN’T YOURS WORTH IT?

•• THE RUTHERFORD WINE VAULT ••

Na p a Va l l e y’ s Pr e m i e r W i n e S t o r a g e Cu r r e ntl y acce pti n g n e w me mb er s .

| 1 901 Sa int Helena Hw y. | Rut her f o r d , C A 9 4 5 7 3

W W W . R U T H E R F O R D W I N E V A U L T . C O M BEST OF 2022

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LIVING UP TO THE MEANING

Photos courtesy of Kazumi Wines

KAZUMI WINES Introducing Koshu Varietal to the U. S.

 BY LAURIE JO MILLER FARR

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hen Michelle Kazumi Sakazaki lived in Milan and worked at a top Italian fashion house, she didn’t expect winemaking to be in her future. However, during those six years in Italy, a love for wine developed, an avenue she came to see as a more expressive and convivial medium than apparel. So she joined her father in a Napa-based wine export business, 90 Plus Wine Club, and an idea took root during the ensuing 12 years. After all, 和 (kazu) means harmony, and 美 (mi) signifies beauty. “I wanted to fuse all the elements and passions of my life into my new business,” Michelle said. “Even the watercolor paintings for my wine labels are a part of that. In Japan, presentation is extremely important, and in Italy, lifestyle sensibilities are paramount. So everything comes together in this endeavor.” Kazumi Wines, founded in 2015, is a small boutique winery producing about 300 cases per year of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Read on. Even the tasting notes are delicious. The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc is from a single vineyard in Rutherford, showcasing plush 74

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“I wanted to fuse all the elements and passions of my life into my new business.” fruits of citrus, apple, and lychee with hints of honeysuckle. There’s salinity to provide a bright, mouthwatering acidity and a juicy, round mouthfeel, while the finish lingers with notes of grapefruit and a hint of almond. The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from a single vineyard in Oakville. This wine showcases blueberry, blackberry, and floral notes of violet. Digging deeper, one discovers notes of chocolate, cloves, and savory dried herbs, revealing a good backbone of structure and acidity with velvety tannins. All the layers add to the complexity of this wine for a long finish. And there’s more. Interestingly, Kazumi Wines has undertaken an exciting adventure that will introduce a novel varietal to North America with the 2022 release of Kazumi Napa Koshu. This uncommon, ancient grape

grown primarily in the Koshu Valley in Japan’s Yamanashi Prefecture was discovered and purchased from UC Davis. Michelle described this grape varietal, which first arrived in Japan over a thousand years ago via the Silk Road, as thick-skinned and hardy. The fruit has a dusky pink hue that can produce a wide range of wines, from delicate white to sparkling, orange, and even red wines. The new Koshu wine has just been harvested from a vineyard in South Napa, producing nearly a ton in 2021, so 50 cases are in production by the Sakazakis and winemaker Kale Anderson. “Since Kazumi Wines makes only two wines, I think it is safe to say that they are both favorites among customers in the U.S., Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan,” said Michelle. The wines can be ordered online and enjoyed at select Japanese restaurants.

FOR MORE INFORMATION www.kazumiwines.com


The Natural Beauty and Wonderful Wines of*2 Atlas Peak  BY FRAN MILLER

Located at 2,663 feet on the western slopes of the Vaca Range separating the Napa and Sacramento valleys, Atlas Peak is known for acclaimed wines that are considerably different from those produced within the valley floor.

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1,380-acre Sutro Ranch. He is adamant that the land be protected in perpetuity; ranchettes or other subdivision-like buildings will never be built on the property. Atlas Peak has historically served as a stronghold for biodiversity, inhabited by endangered owls, red-tailed hawks, and falcons, as well as bats, golden eagles, foxes, lynxes, and more than 150 native plant species. New motionactivated cameras on Read’s Circle R Ranch property have captured images of black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, and wild pigs. The self-effacing Read (who describes himself as having led two very different lives, one as a ‘humble grocer’ and the other as a naturalist and vintage car

Atlas Peak Association vineyard

The region’s micronutrientrich volcanic soils combine with high altitude, San Francisco Bay-cleansed air to produce bold fruit with outstanding red-fruit characteristics. The result? Intensely flavored yet delicate and well-balanced wines of complexity and depth. To enjoy an Atlas Peak-derived wine is to instantly recognize its unique qualities, typically branded by bold structure and velvet silkiness. To enjoy an Atlas Peak wine is also to innately celebrate this region’s fortitude.

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aving survived more than its share of natural disasters (several of the region’s wineries sustained devastating damage in the 2017 and 2020 wildfires), Atlas Peak and its valiant vintners are the very definition of resilience. Those who have chosen the somewhat wild and rustic region as their vineyard homes have dedicated themselves not only to quality fruit and award-winning wines but also to the protection and preservation of the bucolic terrain.

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Photo courtesy of Circle R Ranch

CIRCLE R RANCH

Leading the efforts to steward not only his own 1,600 Atlas Peak acres but also the acreage surrounding his Circle R Ranch is Peter Read. The former CEO of Grocery Outlet Bargain Market purchased his ranch land in 2015 with a somewhat atypical goal for prime Napa Valley real estate – to safeguard the area’s natural wildlife via a master plan created in collaboration with the Land Trust of Napa County. Read’s verdant meadow now serves to function as a natural animal corridor that links with adjacent protected spaces, such as the nearby 1,318-acre Mead Ranch and

enthusiast) has a rich philanthropic family history. With a warm heart and a clear vision in realizing his dreams, he is a major supporter of Marin County’s Marine Mammal Center, Walnut Creek’s Lindsay Wildlife Experience, and the San Francisco SPCA. Read also helped create the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center at Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland in honor of his late wife. And, he has restored Circle R Ranch to reflect Atlas Peak’s natural beauty. “We are fortunate to have such a compassionate neighbor and steward amongst us in Atlas Peak,” said Igor Sill of award-winning Sill Family Vineyards. “Peter is a prime example of a modern-day


renaissance gentleman, an intellectual deeply concerned with preserving nature’s presence on our mountain. He always displays a genuine competence in and understanding of multiple fields, all of which complement one another to make him an incredibly gifted and charming individual. He is humble and never claims he can accomplish everything he dreams of, but he certainly seems to accomplish everything to which he commits his time and energy. He is someone who has a clear vision and applies his time to realize his dreams.” Operated initially as a cattle ranch before the end of the Civil War, Circle R Ranch was once a homestead – a model

in both 2017 and 2020. Doing something meaningful to mitigate fire damage is key to the survival of Atlas Peak as a growing area; the FireWatch camera is key to nipping the little fires before they become firestorms. Peter has been a great addition to our neighborhood. His professional approach to everything he does is wonderful.” Despite his commitment to conservation and preservation with a master plan that included extinguishing vineyard development rights on nearly 89 acres, Read concedes that wine and grapes are the keys to sustainability. Roughly 75 Circle R Ranch acres are allotted for vineyard planting, the product of which Read hopes will allow the

property to support itself over time. He has hired vineyard manager Mike Wolf to oversee the vineyard planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that he plans to sell to local Napa wineries. “Ideally, the grapes and the wine will carry the program,” said Read. “We hope to eventually break even, using the wine as a means to an end.” The prospects for such a successful equation look good. Atlas Peak-derived wines are known for their purity and brilliant expressiveness and can be found on the wine lists of some of the nation’s most revered restaurants.

SILL FAMILY VINEYARDS

“Proof of the quality of our wines are the establishments that serve them,” said Sill of his Sill Family Vineyards varietals that have received various accolades such as a 97 point rating from Robert Parker for his 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon and a CWSA 2018 Wine of the Year award for his 2015 Cab. “Our wines can be found at The French Laundry, Solage Resort, San Ysidro Ranch, and Oakville Grocery, among other notable places. Of course, there is little that separates a good wine from an extraordinarily great one, but to a wine lover, there’s a world of difference between the two, and Atlas Peak often makes that difference.”

Photo courtesy of Circle R Ranch

that Read seeks to emulate. His goal is to recreate what it once was nearly 150 years ago. He has under-grounded power poles and utilities, rebuilt and refurbished a barn, and added cedar water tanks and a windmill. He’s also actively working on fire mitigation strategies to the great appreciation of his neighboring vintners. “I’m very appreciative of Peter’s efforts,” said Randy Wulff of LOBO Wines. “He has breathed new energy into the appellation and mobilized us to fund a new fire tower to be able to spot fires very rapidly in the future.” Added Tom Dinkel of Dos Lagos Vineyards, “Peter has taken a leadership role in fire mitigation, and we welcome and embrace his approach, having been singed 2022Vineyards 77 Photo courtesy BEST of SillOF Family


Photo courtesy of Sill Family Vineyards

HESPERIAN WINES

“ We don't own this land; it owns us. There is a privilege and tremendous responsibility in farming this remote, natural mountain setting.”

“I think the thing that sets Atlas Peak apart from the other appellations in Napa is the sheer amount of rock we have up here,” said Philippe Langner, winemaker, master viticulturist, and CEO of 2004-founded Hesperian Wines. Despite a peripatetic life in Central America, South Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe, Langner selected Napa, specifically Atlas Peak, as his winemaking home. His interest in wine was sparked while interning for several years at the Rothschild-owned Chateau Clarke in Listrac, France, where he worked with consultants Jacques Boissenot and Michel Rolland. A self-described ‘one man show,’ Langner grows and makes 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, producing approximately 800 cases annually. “The topsoil is very thin, and you very rapidly hit rock. My vineyard sees the Bay and San Francisco on a clear day. That means there is always wind up here, and it is very strong at times. This stresses the vines, creating smaller berries and thus more intense wines. The cool bay air also refreshes the vines in the summer, and it tempers the temperature during the warmer parts of the day.” Langner said the high quality of his Hesperian wines is due to the vineyard. “I work harder in the vineyard than the winery, so I can use simple winemaking techniques Phillippe Langer Photo courtesy of Hesperian Wines

– Igor Sill Sill can’t imagine establishing his winery anywhere else in the valley. The former private equity investor has been growing grapes, crafting wine, and living atop his Atlas Peak property for nearly a dozen years, and he continues to marvel at the region’s natural beauty and quality grape yield. His vineyard represents a unique piece of winemaking history. “It was one of the most difficult to plant and hardest to farm, but its quality is undeniable,” said Sill. “Farming my vineyard has broadened my mind and opened my heart. There’s a bit of divine intervention in this little pocket of heaven that creates magic.” 78

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Photo courtesy of Hesperian Wines


to let the wine shine on its own. So I farm for the highest quality wine and not for dollars by the acre.” Next year, Langner will start digging a cave on his property to craft his wines on site. “Apart from fires, it is a real pleasure to live up here. It’s a beautiful and wild place, and yet I’m only 15 minutes from downtown Napa.”

and Opus One. They wondered if their wine quality was due to the winemaker or the vineyards – but given the exemplary skills of both of their winemakers, they concluded that it was likely a bit of both—the winemaker and the terroir that contributed to their stellar wines. “Our vineyard terroir is one of the absolute key elements in our wine’s

characteristic taste and flavor,” said Tom. “Our soils are unique, the altitude is unique, and our exposure is unique – somewhat similar to other Atlas Peak vineyards but different due to our volcanic ash. We believe that our soils contribute to a wonderfully balanced, nuanced, and layered wine that does not need anything other than our own

DOS LAGOS VINEYARDS

Tom and Marcie Dinkel created their Dos Lagos Vineyards on Atlas Peak in 2006. With 22 acres, five of which are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, they solely grow Cabernet Sauvignon to produce a 100% estate-grown Cab. “No mixing and no blending,” clarified Tom. Their first winemaker was Robert Foley, who wanted to buy fruit specifically from Atlas Peak. His specifications were ‘at altitude, in white volcanic ash, Cabernet Sauvignon.’ “Kinda specific,” said Tom. “We worked with him (selling him fruit for his own label(s) and him making our wine) thru the 2015 vintage until we gave the reigns to Kent Jarman for the 2016 and beyond vintages.” Tom admitted he and Marcie were a bit apprehensive about changing horses in the middle of the stream, so to speak, and particularly after having their 2015 Dos Lagos Cabernet Sauvignon compared to Bond, Harlan, Screaming Eagle, Dominus,

Tom and Marcie DInkel // Photo courtesy of Dos Lagos Vineyards

Photo courtesy of Dos Lagos Vineyards

BEST 79 Photo courtesy of OF Dos2022 Lagos Vineyards


fruit. Pretty amazing from a high altitude mountain vineyard – you’d expect that the wines would be much too powerful to bottle by themselves without a blending wine to smooth things out.” The Dinkel’s also embrace the sustainable mantra of Atlas Peak. “Nothing goes onto the vines that will harm a bee or injure a tadpole or fish in our lakes. And specifically, no glyphosate!” These marching orders helped clarify the mission for highly acclaimed vineyard manager Hector Lopez who tends the Dos Lagos Vineyards.

LOBO WINES

Yet another acclaimed Atlas Peak label is Wulff’s LOBO Wines. Meaning ‘wolf’ in Spanish, the moniker is a playful wink to its founders’ surname as well as an homage to the Valley’s revered Hispanic workforce. Founded in 2005 by Randy and his wife Krys (the duo initially sold their fruit to other high-end wineries), they purchased their 42-acre dream property high atop Atlas Peak, intending to establish their own label. “The conditions were perfect for classic rocky, volcanic hillside Cab, so we planted what we could with Cab and a little Merlot and Petit Verdot for blending,” said Randy. The first LOBO label was a Pinot Noir in 2007, followed in 2008 by a Cabernet Sauvignon made by winemaker Victoria Coleman. “Victoria had just finished her oenology degree at UC Davis and an internship at Chateau Mouton Rothschild. We hired her the moment she returned from

France, and we are now working on our 15th vintage together. We share the same passion, and we spare nothing to produce simply the finest ultra-premium wines.” The Wulff’s winemaking philosophy has never wavered. With mantras of ‘balance’ and ‘complexity,’ they make Rosé of Pinot

Noir in the crisp, Provencal style, as well as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, and a Proprietary blend of Syrah, Cab, and Merlot called “Howl,” all with 100% estategrown fruit. Yet, they consider their Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon their flagship wine. “Victoria would say it is the most

“ There is little that separates a good wine from an extraordinarily great one, but to a wine lover, there's a world of difference between the two, and Atlas Peak often makes that difference.” – Igor Sill

Victoria Coleman Photo courtesy of Lobo Wines

Krys and Randy Wulff Photo courtesy of Lobo Wines

challenging wine to make, with different lots all ripening at different times, but so worth it,” said Randy, who describes their vines as close row planted so that they struggle with the rocky soil to produce less yield, yet wonderfully extracted flavors. Their winery, The Caves at Soda Canyon, features dramatic, mountain top views overlooking Stags Leap. Just as Peter is devoted to his Circle R Ranch, the vintners of Atlas Peak have also found a life-defining passion – to protect and regenerate the gifts of nature. Sill said, “We don’t own this land; it owns us, and I don’t say that lightly. I appreciate that we are only the most recent stewards in its long history. There is a privilege and tremendous responsibility in farming this remote, natural mountain setting.” 80 Vineyards NAPAVALLEYLIFE.COM Wulff on Atlas Peak after dark- Photo by Tim Carl


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Stagecoach Vineyard

Hill Family Estate

Hendrickson Family Vineyards Antica Napa Valley Soda Canyon Ranch Vineyards

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NC H The Atlas Peak Appellation is an American Viticultural Area encompassing 11,400 acres high above the Napa Valley. It's lofty elevation and rugged mountain soil produce wines of superior class and distinction. Visit us at atlaspeakappellation.com

WWW.ATLASPEAKAPPELLATION.COM sillfamilyvineyards.com // hesperianwines.com // doslagosvineyards.com // lobowines.com BEST OF 2022

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Seeking

SYRAH D I S C O V E R

Limited-Production Syrah from Napa Valley  BY MELISSA VOGT

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Scribe // Photo by LeoPatrone

Napa Valley produces only 4% of California’s wine and a mere .04% of the world’s wine. While this famous winegrowing region is planted to more than 40 grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay dominate output at 51% and 13%, respectively. But across the 16 official appellations, small lots of grape varieties such as Syrah also thrive.

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hile most wine enthusiasts are accustomed to the big, bold style of Napa Valley Cabernet, fewer are familiar with the finessed expressions of Syrah coming from the Valley’s cooler vineyard sites. And even though less than 2% of Napa Valley is planted to Syrah, the producers who are crafting this Rhône varietal are showing just how well Napa Valley Syrah expresses itself.

A BRIEF HISTORY of SYRAH in CALIFORNIA Despite the small percentage of Syrah planted in Napa Valley today, this French grape was first rooted in California winegrowing regions more than a century ago. Syrah vines were planted in California in the late 19th century, but phylloxera nearly eradicated the variety in the 1890s. Replanting Syrah was slow across the state, but it took on more acreage and popularity in the 1990s. The Central Coast-based Cuvaison Estate Vineyard

Rhône Rangers organization played a significant role in elevating the prestige and style of California Syrah, helping to escalate the varietal to the spotlight. Today, grape growers across the state know just how well-suited the cooler microclimates of California are for growing Syrah. In Napa Valley, cool microclimates exist in small secret pockets scattered across the 16 appellations, allowing for a very prestigious and high-quality, albeit limited, production of local Syrah.

MICROCLIMATES MATTER “I would say that Syrah can't just be grown anywhere in Napa Valley; it all depends on the site,” said Gustavo Sotelo, the winemaker at Scribe Winery, who works with Syrah vineyards in Chiles Valley and Atlas Peak. “The best Syrah sites in Napa Valley tend to be located in the southern part of the valley, BEST OF 2022

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NVL wine

AJ Pearce Toro SyrahPhoto courtesy of AJ Pearce Photo courtesy of Inglenook

which tends to be cooler—or on hillside plantings, where due to the elevation, the vines tend to stay cooler compared to the valley floor.” In essence, microclimates matter. Growing Syrah vines in those cooler sites—whether the temperature is tamed by proximity to the San Pablo Bay, morning and evening fog layers, higher elevation, or all of the above—provides the ideal microclimate for Syrah to succeed in Napa Valley. True to its French origins in the Rhône Valley, Syrah does best in cooler sites with less fertile soils because the climate helps tame the vine’s vigor. The result is the preservation of acidity and freshness once bottled. Steve Rogstad, the winemaker at Cuvaison Winery, works with Syrah vineyards at his Los Carneros estate. “I think what makes our Los Carneros estate vineyard unique is its combination of cool climate and shallow, clay soils. The soils limit vine vigor— while the terroir prods the winegrower into green thinning more aggressively to ensure this late-ripening variety will mature each year,” Rogstad said. A good point, green thinning allows producers like Rogstad to ensure quality across the grape clusters that are ultimately harvested. Like Sotelo, winemaker Rob Hunter at Bennett Lane Winery also works with Syrah vines in Atlas Peak. “Just as with other varietals, Napa Valley provides so much diversity in climate and soil for 84

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Photo courtesy of Bennett Lane

Syrah. We prefer the cooler temps in Atlas Peak for a more Rhône-like climate.” This region maxes out at 2,663 feet elevation and harkens to the grape’s origins, especially so because this mountainous region offers wind. In the Rhône, a cold and strong wind called the mistral blows from the north and is a distinct characteristic of the microclimate. In Atlas Peak, prevailing winds blow up from the San Pablo Bay in the south, mimicking the mistral. Other producers have opted for finding incredibly small microclimates in certain blocks in their estate vineyards. Senior Associate Winemaker of Inglenook, Chris

Phelps, said, “When we recognize that the best possible use of several locations on the estate is for the production of small quantities of not Red Bordeaux varieties, we do not hesitate to take full advantage of the opportunity.” The estate’s oldest Syrah planting, the Gate Vineyard (in Rutherford), dates to 1996 and was planted in part because the “denser, deeper, and less cobbled soils” are more suitable for Syrah rather than Napa Valley’s more traditionally suited Bordeaux grape varieties. Phelps continued, “We always try to use our land for precisely what the growing conditions dictate.”


At AJ Pearce Wines, the winery has also opted to work with a singular block on their estate vineyards in Coombsville. Winemaker Jarred Pearce said, “We focus our attention on Coombsville, which we think is an exceptional region to grow Syrah. Coombsville is one of the cooler sub-AVAs in the valley which allows the fruit to retain its natural acidity and helps to extend the growing season.” The Toro Block, from which their Coombsville Syrah hails, is planted on a steep, rocky, south-facing hillside—a trait that Pearce said helps to tame the vine’s vigor (a common factor for many who are growing this prolific grape variety). What Pearce loves most about growing Syrah in Napa Valley is that “Syrah can be as complex (if not more) as Bordeaux varieties which seem to take preference in our region.” This style of precise planting and production of Syrah strings together the visionary

syrah worth seeking AJ Pearce 2018 Toro Block Syrah

This Toro Block Syrah from AJ Pearce expresses red fruit flavors of raspberry and cherry coupled with bountiful baking spice. The palate is round and smooth with a full body and pleasing tannins. It’s showing well in its youth and would also cellar beautifully. www.ajpearcewines.com

Inglenook 2018 RC Reserve Syrah

The Inglenook Syrah boasts a lovely bouquet with aromas of black cherry and violet. Its medium-bodied palate is filled with baking spice, wild herbs, cinnamon-spiced cherries, and blueberry. Flavors of green olive prance on the long finish. It’s a well-balanced Syrah with a lot of character and would age wonderfully. www.inglenook.com

Bennett Lane 2016 Syrah

A Syrah with some age, this one from Bennett Lane is medium-bodied with medium tannins and flavors of wild blackberry, violet, and olive. It’s crafted in a lighter style with a lot of finesse and shows a nice line of acidity with excellent spice characteristics. The lengthy finish is reminiscent of tart blueberries. www.bennettlane.com

Cuvaison 2018 Diablo Syrah

Coming from the coolest appellation in Napa Valley, the Cuvaison Syrah from Los Carneros has a lovely nose with dark cherry, pepper, and violet. On the palate, bright fruit flavors of raspberry and cherry mingle with the classic spice and herbal characteristics of this varietal. It possesses a long and tasty finish. www.cuvaison.com

Scribe 2019 Rancho Catacula Syrah

Cuvaison Tasting Room Photo courtesy of Cuvaison

This one from Scribe is a rather meaty Syrah that hits all the right notes. A bouquet of cured meats and violet gives way to a palate with flavors of savory cured meat, dried flowers and herbs, black plum, and wet stones— a distinct profile with lots of character and balance. www.scribewinery.com

Faust 2019 The Hour Syrah

“We have no problem with the fact that it’s an unusual wine for Napa Valley.” – Chris Phelps, Inglenook

grape growers and winemakers of Napa Valley who have given this varietal a chance. Syrah has clearly succeeded in these distinct microclimates across the Valley. And despite the limited production—one may have to visit a winery or tasting room or sign up for a wine club membership to purchase it—Napa Valley Syrah is worth seeking. Phelps cheerfully stated, “We have no problem with the fact that it’s an unusual wine for Napa Valley.” With a statement like that, it’s safe to say that local winemakers are in agreeance and Napa Valley Syrah is here to stay. Cheers to that.

The classic trio of cured meats, olive tapenade, and violet are lovely in the Faust bouquet. Dark and brooding on the palate, this Syrah is made in a rich style with very juicy fruit, fresh acidity, and mouthwatering flavors of black cherry. It has fresh acidity, a medium-full body, and drinks well even in its youth. This would be a great candidate for the cellar. www.faustwines.com

Darioush 2018 Signature Shiraz

Darioush presents a powerful Shiraz with dark fruit, a lot of spice, and complex layers of fruit and flowers on the palate: plum, black cherry, and lavender. The wine shows a lot of structure in its fuller-bodied form and unfolds in a long, spice-filled, pleasing finish. www.darioush.com BEST OF 2022

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Wine Regions Series

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VERDE VALLEY Aromatic Whites from Arizona’s Newest AVA Show Promise  BY MELISSA VOGT

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View of Verde Valley


Page Spring Cellars Photo by Josh Grey

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o matter the wine, the region from which it comes took strides to fill that glass. In the New World of wine, the likes of Napa Valley didn’t happen overnight. Successive, wide-net planting of different grape varieties by immigrants in the 1800s, followed by setbacks during Prohibition, and rebuilding and replanting after that difficult period brought Napa Valley to where it is today. Growth and recognition take time, and all winegrowing regions must start somewhere. For the Verde Valley AVA in Arizona, the state’s newest and third official winegrowing appellation, grape growers and winemakers are very much in the early stages of understanding which grape varieties grow best. And while the verdict is still out, the aromatic whites show a lot of promise. Visitors to the region can explore these aromatic white wines at the eclectic collection of wineries and tasting rooms along the Verde Valley Wine Trail and enjoy a variety of wine tasting experiences that feature varietals grown across the state.

THE VERDE VALLEY’S STORIED HISTORY Grapevines originally planted in Arizona by Spanish explorers date to the mid-16th century when missions planted vineyards for sacramental wine. Much like California, grape growing was abundant until Prohibition. In 1915, absolute prohibition came to Arizona five years before federal Prohibition came into effect. While many wine producers in California were still able to make sacramental wine and keep their vineyards, Arizona saw no such grace. Under state laws, all production, sale, ownership, possession, and consumption were completely outlawed—leaving Arizona to abandon winegrowing for nearly half a century, well beyond the federal repeal of Prohibition. Gordon Dutt, soil scientist and professor from UC Davis, came to the College of Agriculture at the University of Arizona in 1970 and reinvigorated the wine scene by testing soils, planting vines, and applying for grants to conduct research. In 1976, his studies helped pass a bill that allowed winemaking to return to Arizona—albeit still with significant restrictions on the selling and shipping of products. In 2005, a Supreme Court case eliminated the state’s restrictive selling, shipping, and business regulations. And in 2006, an additional state bill was passed with measures that allowed the Arizona wine industry to initiate regrowth.

Photo courtesy of Verde Valley Vine Trail

VERDE VALLEY GROWTH + TERROIR The recent growth in the Verde Valley has been exponential. In the early 2000s, the region had only a handful of vineyards. Today, there are 19 commercial vineyards farming more than 136 acres of wine grapes and 25 tasting rooms. In addition, its proximity to the much-traveled town of Sedona has significantly contributed to the region’s development of multifaceted wineries and tasting rooms, which offer a wide array of activities in addition to traditional wine tasting. Outside of wine tourism, grape growers and winemakers are attracted to the Verde Valley because of the “diversity of soil composition and acclimation to the sun,” said Corey Turnbull, owner and winemaker of Burning Tree Cellars. “Additionally, due to our distance from marine influence and our closeness to the equator relative to most winegrowing regions, we are forced to grow at elevation in Arizona, generally between 3,500 and 5,000 feet. In that sense, the Verde Valley is right in this ‘goldilocks’ zone.” Like many other great winegrowing regions, the extreme diurnal temperature shifts matter. In the Verde Valley, they range from nightly average lows of 25 degrees in winter and daily average highs of 100 in summer. In the hands of a knowledgeable viticulturist and a talented winemaker, this terroir is what allows Verde Valley producers to craft wines with acidity and appropriately ripened profiles. Soil composition also comes into play and varies across the region. “The Verde Valley contains calcareous and alluvial soils, with traces of limestone,” said Maynard Keenan, owner and winemaker of Caduceus

Cellars. Among the benefits of these soil types are water retention, fertile organic matter, and the aptitude to produce wines with ripeness, acidity, and the ability to age. Turnbull said it best when he stated, “I am excited about what we can offer now, but more so for what the future will bring.” Despite the Verde Valley’s youth, the terroir is promising, and the region will be one to watch—particularly for its aromatic whites, which show quite nicely.

VENTURING ACROSS THE VERDE VALLEY WINE TRAIL Page Spring Cellars offers a nice collection of wines. Visitors can choose from a tasting flight of five wines for $12 or a reserve tasting flight of five wines for $25. By the glass and by the bottle purchases are available, and they boast an impressive bistro menu with tapas, cheeseboards, paninis, pizzas, salads, and more. One of their most notable whites is a unique hybrid variety called Traminette. This highly aromatic white grape is a cross between Gewürztraminer and Joannes Seyve, bred at the University BEST OF 2022

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Photo courtesy of Page Springs Cellars

NVL beyond the valley

SouthwestWine Center Photo by Michael Pierce Photo Courtesy of Gramercy Estate

of Illinois in 1965; it shows well in its Verde Valley expression at this focused estate with vibrancy, freshness, and welcomed acidity on the palate. Flavors of tangerine, white flowers, and a kiss of residual sugar make this balanced white a crowd-pleaser. The Page Spring Cellars property is classic Arizona with a desert landscape of dry hills, lush flora and fauna banking the nearby Oak Creek, and views of youthful estate vines. Plenty of picnic tables and lounge seating on the spacious deck offer a welcoming space for guests to get to know Verde Valley wines over a tasty lunch with friends and family. For those looking for other fun things to do, an onsite art gallery of local artists is free for viewing. // www.pagespringscellars.com

wine tasting experience with some truly unique wines is at the top of the list. Crafted by Tool front man Maynard Keenan, the 2018 Garnacha (Grenache) from Caduceus tastes like a wine from another era. This is a wine for Old World palates and those with a penchant for rare finds. Its distinct expression is derived from early picking, whole cluster wild fermentation, extended maceration, and aging in concrete eggs. This winemaking process gives it a bouquet of dried fruit, and its palate is light in style and body, with medium tannin, bright acidity, and dried strawberry and cherry flavors. Much like his music, this wine doesn’t fit into a traditional mold, and the artistry shows in this bottling. // www.caduceus.org

Burning Tree Cellars is in Old Town Cottonwood, what locals refer to as the heart of Verde Valley wine tasting. Old Town Cottonwood brings tons of historic charm, plenty of shopping and dining, and tasting rooms to enjoy wines from the Verde Valley and beyond. Of note is their 2020 Roussanne with pleasant stone fruit and honeydew aromas. On the palate, this medium-bodied white shows flavors of peach and apple wrapped up in bright acidity and a bit of sweetness. With more than a dozen wines to taste—and each bottle designed with an original piece of art—this eclectic collection offers several red and white blends, as well as some single-varietal bottlings. // www.burningtreecellars.com

The Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College is the local educational resource for growing grapes and making wine in Arizona. With hands-on education in enology and viticulture, student winemakers craft wines

Caduceus Cellars is located on the western side of the Verde Valley Wine Trail in Jerome, a historic copper mining town. A bit more off the beaten path, the Caduceus Cellars tasting room makes for a great destination if a leisure 88

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Photo courtesy of Burning Tree Cellars

each year as they get to know the local terroir, work with different varietals, and trial winemaking practices in the cellar. Visitors who want to be at the forefront of the Arizona wine scene can check out the up-and-coming winemakers and viticulturists of the region by tasting the impressive student-made wines at the Southwest Wine Center tasting room in Clarkdale. The 2018 Aglianico shows well from this new generation of Arizona oenophiles. It’s made in its traditional Italian style with ripe dark fruit and noticeable tannins. Guests can enjoy tasting flights, wines by the glass or bottle, and take a tour. Reservations are required, wine tasting flights are $12, and indoor and outdoor seating is available. // www.southwestwinecenter.com For more information on visiting Arizona’s Verde Valley wine scene, travelers can look to the Verde Valley Wine Trail at www.vvwinetrail.com.


ay is Taco D y r e Da v E y

Best

TACOS N A PA V A L L E Y ’ S

 BY ELIZABETH SMITH

La Calenda Taco de Hongos Photo by David Escalante

Tacos have an uncertain origin, but college professor Jeffrey M. Pilcher, who spent decades researching (and tasting) the history and evolution of Mexican cuisine, believes both the word and food originated with 18th-century Mexican silver miners. At the time, the word taco referred to charges – paper-wrapped gunpowder – they used in mining. So one of the first references to tacos as food was tacos de minero, miner’s tacos.

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ast forward to today and the popularity of tacos, which have evolved into an everyday meal for many worldwide, including Napa Valley, which has a rich Mexican-American population and history. There is a plethora of options here, many from food trucks, but there are also restaurants that excel at the art of taco making. Below are a few of the best. BEST OF 2022

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Photo courtesy of Gran Electrica

NVL food C CASA: AN INNOVATIVE TAQUERIA C Casa founder Catherine Bergin has long been a taco lover, something she enjoyed during her beach travels to Baja. However, her life was forever changed after eating her first freshly caught fish taco. She described the experience as life-changing. From that moment on, she dreamed of opening a taqueria to offer healthy and fresh food, including tacos. Her dream came true in 2011 with the opening of C Casa. The menu offerings include various taco options, like grilled garlic citrus prawns, ground buffalo, spiced lamb, pork or duck carnitas, rotisserie chicken, and vegan/vegetarian choices like avocado and heirloom potatoes. The foundation for each taco is an open-faced, handcrafted, six-inch tortilla made from 100% U.S.-grown organic white corn. Toppings include local greens, vegetables, artisan cheeses, and flavorful aiolis, cremas, and sauces. C Casa’s menu is also 100% gluten-free. // www.myccasa.com

GRAN ELÉCTRICA Owners Tamer Hamawi, Elise Rosenberg, and Emelie Kihlstrom founded Gran Eléctrica, a restaurant and mezcal/tequila bar in downtown Napa, to offer what they call “an authentic and market-driven Mexican menu inspired by travels abroad, particularly traditional Mexican street fare.” Under the leadership of Mexican-born chef Ignacio Beltran, Gran Eléctrica serves diverse dishes – including tacos – from different regions of Mexico using locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant’s tacos begin with fresh, hand-pressed, heirloom corn tortillas. Fillings

include coliflor al pastor (crispy cauliflower), pescado estilo ensenada (beer-battered fish), cochinita pibil (achiote-marinated and braised Rancho Llano Seco pork shank and shoulder), carnitas (braised Rancho Llano Seco pork shoulder), and suadero (seared Five Dot Ranch beef brisket). The tacos are finished with toppings like achiote, peppers, red onion, cilantro, cabbage, tomatoes, homemade queso fresco, cremas and sauces, and spicy chorizo. // www.granelectrica.com

HERITAGE EATS Heritage Eats, which describes itself as “where around the world meets home,” offers a variety of “fast-casual” global cuisine at affordable prices, like rice and salad bowls, Dutch crunch sandwiches, and house-made bao. Shortly after opening in 2015, owners Ben and Ali Koenig added locally inspired items to their menu, including tacos, with fillings like spicy jerk chicken, Baja shrimp, and carnitas, plus toppings such as slaw, pico

de gallo, corn, and cilantro. What makes the tacos different are their blue corn tortillas, which they source from a longtime, familyowned and operated Bay Area tortilleria. “The blue corn gives a richer flavor than a traditional yellow or white corn tortilla. Proudly, we are the only restaurant in the Napa Valley to use this specific tortilla,” shared the Koenigs. // www.heritageeats.com

LA CALENDA La Calenda in Yountville, a Thomas Keller restaurant, opened in January 2019 and is named after the Oaxacan parade that brings together the community for special occasions and celebrations. It is this joyous Oaxacan spirit one finds here in its chef, cuisine, hospitality, and interior design. Oaxaca-raised chef de cuisine, Kaelin Ulrich Trilling, brings his love for his hometown cuisine to the restaurant, which he learned from his mother, Susana Trilling, a cooking school and store owner, author, television

C Casa Photo by Elizabeth Smith

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Shrimp Tacos courtesy of Heritage Eats


La Cheve Bakery and Brews Photo by Elizabeth Smith

personality, and former restauranteur. It was she who also referred him to Keller for the role at La Calenda. Trilling’s take on tacos is authentic and savory. The tortillas are house-made from corn sourced from various regions of Mexico, filled with al pastor, pescado, carnitas, barbacoa, or hongos (wild mushrooms), then topped with a variety of vegetables or fruits and sauces like salsa morita, salsa avocado tomatillo, and chipotle mayo. A suggested beverage pairing is La Calenda Margarita, whose special ingredient is pineapple agave. Also not to be missed is Trilling’s 36-ingredient mole. All dishes are gluten-free except the desserts. // www.lacalendamex.com

TANNYA’S TAQUERIA Tannya’s Taqueria – named for the restauranteur’s daughter Tanya, but with an additional letter “N” to differentiate it from other similarly named restaurants – is another longtime locals’ favorite. The restaurant recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, having survived the pandemic due to its pickup window service and loyal following. Aurelio

LA CHEVE BAKERY AND BREWS La Cheve Bakery and Brews is owner Cinthya Cisneros’ culinary dream come true in Napa’s Cayetano Juárez Adobe (Old Adobe) built in 1845. Opening in May 2020 during the pandemic was no easy feat, but Cisneros’ love of food and family – everyone who works or dines here is part of “la familia” – immediately attracted a cult following. While known for its bakery items made by Cisneros’ mother, Momma Juana, and Cisneros’ own handcrafted beers, La Cheve (slang for beer in Mexican Spanish) also offers delicious and plentiful servings of tacos served on large and colorful, authentically designed plates. Choices include al pastor, grilled chicken, carne asada, and portobello mushroom, topped with cilantro, onion, and radishes. To keep the menu fresh, Cisneros occasionally offers specials like carnitas, shrimp, and birria. All tacos are gluten-free. The restaurant does not take reservations, and there is usually a line at the door for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. // www.ilovelacheve.com

LA TAQUIZA FISH TACOS Napa locals know La Taquiza Fish Tacos as the source for California style – seasoned and grilled – or Baja style – battered and fried – fish tacos. The restaurant marinates and seasons all of their taco fillings, whether seafood or meat, with what they call “Mexican sabor (taste).” Choices include carne asada, carnitas, chicken, fish, shrimp, grilled octopus, oysters, veggie, and the house specialty, Taco Taquiza – two corn tortillas with creamy potatoes and salted, fried fish, and smoky salsa. Toppings include onions, cilantro, cabbage, pico de gallo, and homemade dressings and salsas. // www.lataquizanapa.com

Tannya's Taqueria Photo by Elizabeth Smith

Taqueria Maria Photo by Elizabeth Smith

Fernandez launched the restaurant with his passion and respect for Mexican cuisine and culture: “La cocina (the kitchen), is where family happens, it is the sacred place in which tradition and passion are passed from one generation to the next.” Second-generation sons Aurelio, Jr. and Edgar now manage the day-to-day operations. The menu consists of family-favorite dishes, like tacos, soft shell or hard shell, with fillings like carnitas, al pastor, chile verde (pork or chicken), spicy mole (chicken), chicken (fajita style), carne asada, shredded beef, lengua, tripa, fish, and veggie, all topped with onions, cilantro, and radishes. Everything is made daily in small batches, so when they sell out, they’re out until the following day. // www.tannyastaqueria.com

TAQUERIA MARIA Taqueria Maria – named for the Virgin Mary as well as chef-owner David Reynoso’s mother – opened during the economic recession in 2009. Originally from a town near Guadalajara, Mexico, Reynoso came to the United States and began his career working at a restaurant in East Los Angeles for five years.

He has many family members in the culinary industry, so when a cousin in American Canyon told him about a restaurant opportunity in Napa, he and his brothers decided to take a chance despite the economic downturn. Reynoso’s menu consists of “authentic Mexican dishes with a southwestern flair,” and his tacos are outstanding and satisfying. Options include carne asada, carnitas, pollo, pastor, chorizo, pollo asado, shredded and ground beef, lengua, cabeza, seafood (fish and shrimp), and veggie. One can purchase them ala carte, in combinations, or in meal platters with sides of rice and beans. One of Reynoso’s cocktails is the perfect accompaniment, especially the spicy margarita or bloody Maria, both made with the award-winning 21 Seeds Cucumber Jalapeño Tequila. // www.taqueriamaria.com BEST OF 2022

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N A PA’ S N E W E S T C AT C H

Napa Valley Lobster Co.  BY FRAN MILLER | PHOTOS BY DARREN BRAZIL

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he last couple of years have been challenging for everyone, particularly for small business owners in the restaurant industry, such as Ali and Ben Koenig. But for this dynamic duo, those challenges have been met with a healthy perspective on what matters most and a resolve to continue serving the Napa community. As proprietors of popular Heritage Eats and the Best Food Truck Ever, the Koenigs not only kept their culinary businesses solvent and cohesive during tumultuous times, they added yet another to their growing gastronomic empire – Napa Valley Lobster Co. The iconic, traditional ‘Southern-style lobster boil’ concept introduced to the Napa Valley by Ines Chiarello is enjoying new, post-COVID life with the Koenigs, who have partnered with Chiarello and business partner Charles Whittaker in reinvigorating the concept. As East Coast transplants (the Koenig’s and Chiarello from New Jersey and Whittaker from upstate New York), the crew bonded with a shared vision for how 92

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to expand the company that specializes in classic, hands-on dining experiences where the feast (Maine lobster, jumbo shrimp, Louisiana hot links, sweet corn, red potatoes, whole artichokes, and freshbaked bread) is literally ‘poured’ onto a parchment-lined table. “The best thing about working with the Koenigs and the Napa Valley Lobster Co. is that I’ve circled back to where I began in this business, being able to schmooze with folks while doing what I love most, but not having the back end responsibilities, said Chiarello. “It’s kind of flirting with retirement, which is a perfect fit for me.” “Ines has been very helpful in passing the torch to our company,” said Ben. “She has enjoyed showing us the tricks of the trade and seeing our team and business evolve with her guidance and wisdom. We are honored and thrilled to now be Napa Valley’s premier option for these hallmark occasions, and we have been overwhelmed by the response and can’t wait to grow this brand.” Chiarello’s expertise was in large-scale (100+), ‘annual style’ events with some of

Napa Valley’s most prestigious and iconic properties. Napa Valley Lobster Co. will carry on this tradition, in addition to creating smaller dinner packages that serve four to six. “We truly think the sky is the limit and think that this type of experience has broad appeal. We are excited to announce our first licensing agreement in Dallas, TX. Our goal is to bring the beauty and simplicity of the Napa Valley Lobster Co. culinary and hospitality approach to people around the country through the forging of strong, local partnerships with proven operators.” said Whittaker. Koenig is quick to acknowledge the strength of his team as the reason for his and Ali’s continued success. “We have had some amazing team members since we started our company more than six years ago. Unanticipated hardships have brought us even closer to our team and have made us appreciate what they do for our businesses even more.” FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.napavalleylobsterco.com // @NapaValleyLobsterCo


NAPA WILD Delivering Great Food for Memorable Meals

when they harvest. Conversely, Napa Wild partners with farmers who allow their fruits and vegetables to reach ideal ripening, those who see the value in growing more flavorful varieties that might not be as visually beautiful or durable for shipping. Since Napa Wild purchases directly from farms and foragers to deliver to their home and restaurant customers, this means shelf life is a less significant factor, and their growers can harvest at the exact moment for peak flavor profiles.

“ We love the smiles and joy that good food brings people, it's very rewarding to know our produce is being enjoyed and shared at tables all over our hometown.”

Photo courtesy of Napa Wild

 BY ELIZABETH SMITH

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hef Kory Stewart and his family founded Napa Wild in 2017 to bring high-quality wild foods, seasonal produce, and rare ingredients from sustainable, local farms and forests to restaurants and homes in Napa Valley. It began as a wholesale distribution company, but the pandemic precipitated a launch into home delivery, which has become an essential effort of the family business. Napa Wild sells a variety of fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry, eggs, and pantry items. “We like to find things that you don't have to be a devoted foodie to appreciate the difference. My kids will be the first to

tell me whether something is special or not,” said Stewart. The produce selections include everyday staples like apples, pears, citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, greens, onions, potatoes, and squashes. Napa Wild also offers rare and difficult-to-find ingredients like wild mushrooms and truffles, California passion fruit, Gwen avocados, Mountain Rose apples, and Australian finger limes. The Napa Wild team focuses on optimal flavors, a different approach to food sourcing than what drives typical grocery stores. For example, most major grocers select for appearance first, which determines how many farms they work with and

The Napa Wild crew gets excited about wild mushrooms. Autumn is the best time of the year to harvest them, and finding them is always an adventure. The team also lives on Will Brokaw's delicious avocados when they are available. Bernard Ranches’ California citrus is another winter season favorite. “They’re a fitting example of the difference in flavor. Even the navel oranges pass our blind tasting test every year,” shared Stewart. Napa Wild customers may also purchase organic pasture-rotated eggs, pasture-raised chicken, Sonoma County Liberty Duck and organic grass-fed beef, Solano County Wolfe Ranch Heritage Breed Pork, and Caggiano’s sausage. Pantry items include brown rice, organic sourdough bread, nuts, olive oils, and Balsamic vinegar. The reason for Napa Wild’s success is evident in its approach to sourcing the most appetizing, flavorful, and fresh foods and its thoughtful and meticulous attention to customer service. “We love the smiles and joy that good food brings people, it's very rewarding to know our produce is being enjoyed and shared at tables all over our hometown,” shared Stewart. Napa Wild offers home delivery throughout Napa Valley every Friday to customers who preorder the Wednesday prior by 6:00 p.m. Customers can purchase both community-supported agriculture (CSA) style mixed produce boxes and items for individual sale. In addition, restaurant delivery is available Monday through Friday in Napa Valley. FOR MORE INFORMATION www.napawild.com BEST OF 2022

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PAIN PERDU

(decadent french toast) Four Servings PREPARATION TIME 15 minutes COOKING TIME 30 minutes EQUIPMENT NEEDED Medium-size bowl, whisk, spatula, large skillet INGREDIENTS • 3 large eggs • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar • Pinch of salt • 1 cup milk

Cooking with

KAREN CROUSE

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I like Nielsen–Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste) • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon • 5 tablespoons butter (I like unsalted Kerigold) • 8 slices day-old batard or sweet French baguette – sliced at least ¾' thick • Confectioner's sugar, for dusting • ½ pint fresh fruit (I like strawberries)

P

ain Perdu (pronounced pan par-due) means “lost or wasted bread.” This recipe cleverly transforms otherwise wasted stale bread into a French Toast cooked to golden crisp, buttery perfection with a rich custard interior. Pain Perdu is a decadent option for Sunday brunch and classic addition to all Mardi Gras gatherings.

• Crème fraiche or whipped cream for topping

TIP: The secret to achieving the custard-like texture is stale thick-cut bread. The thickness and hard texture allow the bread to absorb the egg mixture without disintegrating. PREPARATION • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt until thoroughly blended. Next, whisk in the milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. • In a large skillet, melt 2 ½ tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add 4 slices of bread to the egg mixture. Let it soak until it is saturated but not falling apart. The staler the bread, the longer it will need to soak. • Place the bread in the skillet and cook over medium to medium-low heat on each side until golden brown. (approximately 3-4 minutes) • Transfer the bread to an oven-safe plate and keep it warm in the oven. • Add the remaining butter to the skillet and repeat with the rest of the bread and egg mixture. • Transfer the pain perdu to four plates, dust each with confectioner's sugar, top with strawberries and add a dollop of crème fraiche or whipped cream.

FOR MORE INFORMATION karencrousenapavalley.com 94

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Serve with a Mimosa, Kir Royale, or champagne with seasonal berries afloat. Bon Appetit!


AMERICAN MADE KNIFE ART

The perfect balance of power and grace.

STOP BY AND LEARN HOW TO THROW A TOMAHAWK! We Sharpen Knives | 1380 Main Street, St. Helena | 707-244-5188 | NewWestKnifeWorks.com | @NWKnifeWorks


W H E R E TO D I N E

Fairfield, California•

Savor the Unexpected  ARTICLE AND PHOTOS BY ELIZABETH SMITH

TWO60 KITCHEN + BAR Restauranteur Molly Tou opened Two60 Kitchen + Bar in June 2020. The restaurant’s name is a play on Tou and the restaurant’s street address number. Tou’s focus is New American Cuisine, including Chinese, Korean, Mexican, and American-inspired dishes. The menu has a variety of appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, pasta, and entrées like the must-try, gluten-free pan-seared salmon with lemon herb sauce served on a bed of bok choy, fingerling potatoes, sundried tomatoes, and edamame. The restaurant is also known for its Korean fried chicken, rice bowls, and the ahi poke bowl, salad, and tower, the latter of which includes shrimp, avocado, crisp wontons, creamy nuoc cham, and houseinfused cilantro oil. Two60 Kitchen Bar serves lunch and dinner for dine-in (indoor and outdoor) and takeout. // www.two60kitchenandbar.com

MANKAS GRILL

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orthern California residents and visitors may be familiar with Fairfield, California, the county seat of Solano County, as home to Travis Air Force Base, Anheuser-Busch, and Clorox – and as a shopping destination with its Solano Town Center and Cordelia Junction Antique Mall – but more awaits. Located 15 miles from Napa, 35 miles from Oakland, and 45 miles from San Francisco and Sacramento – where three highways converge – Fairfield is a delightful locale to “savor the unexpected,” with a myriad of attractions, including Suisun Valley, a diverse and unique wine appellation producing world-class wines.

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Mankas Grill also opened in 2020 under the new leadership of brothers Kyle and Jason Barraza – whose family also owns The Napa Deli – and executive chef Jonathan Rodriguez. The restaurant’s historic building dates back to 1853 when it was a stagecoach stop between Berryessa Valley and the Suisun City port. Mankas Grill is fondly known as Suisun Valley’s “wine country steakhouse,” but serves a variety of fare like salads, pasta dishes, pork belly nachos, lobster bisque, a catch of the day, beef short ribs, butchered meats (Hungarian rubbed ribeye and American Wagyu Tomahawk), a pulled pork sandwich, and two burgers, the steakhouse and portabella mushroom (vegetarian). The menu changes seasonally. Mankas Grill is open for dine-in (indoor and outdoor) and takeout. // www.mankasgrill.com

W H E R E TO S I P

TOLENAS VINEYARD AND WINERY Tolenas Vineyards and Winery is a great starting point to become acquainted with the Suisun Valley American Viticultural Area established in 1982. In 2015, winemaker Lisa Tenbrink Howard – the second generation of


Tolenas Winery

Suisun Valley Sign near Vezér Photo by Amber Burke

Tenbrink Vineyards’ family of winegrowers and winemakers – and her husband Cliff launched the winery, which they named after the original Rancho Tolenas. The home vineyard’s location in the southern Suisun Valley means a greater coastal influence from the nearby Suisun and San Pablo Bays, which is ideal for growing Pinot Noir, of which Howard makes two wines-Eclipse, a white Pinot Noir (the grapes are pressed and produced like a white wine) and a red, Totality, whose name signifies the absence of light during a total eclipse. Both wines are must-tastes at their hospitality house, Howard’s renovated childhood home, along with her El Camino red blend of Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel, whose name also has a story. // www.tolenaswinery.com

WOODEN FAMILY WINERY For three generations, the Lanzas have been winegrowers and winemakers at Wooden Family Winery. Mario Lanza and Lena Carlevaro Lanza – both from Silvano Di Orba, Italy – met and married in Oakland, California. In 1944, they moved to Suisun Valley and became co-owners of Wooden Valley Winery with the Brea brothers, then sole proprietors in 1955. Today brothers Rick (winemaker), Ron (marketing and sales), Larry, and Ken (both vineyard managers) manage the winery and its 400 acres of grapevines. The Lanzas sell most of their fruit locally and nationally but reserve a small percentage to make wines under the Wooden Valley, Rosetta, and Lanza Family Wines labels. A few of the must-tastes are the Chardonnay, Rosetta Dry Rosé of Sangiovese and Valdiguié, Lanza Sangiovese, Wooden Valley Malbec, and Lanza Petite Sirah. The Lanzas also make Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Muscat

Mankas Grill

Canelli, Riesling, and an off-dry version of Rosetta Rosé from 100% Valdiguié. // www.woodenvalley.com

VEZÉR FAMILY VINEYARD Frank and Liz Vezér launched Vezér Family Vineyard in 2001, their first release being their 2003 Zinfandel. In addition to Zinfandel, Vezér is also known for its Petite Sirah, considered the flagship grape of Suisun Valley. A sign near the Vezér Blue

Victorian Winery property – designed to resemble the famous Napa Valley signs – is humorous and proudly proclaims Suisun Valley the Petite Sirah capital of the world. While Petite Sirah may be king, the Vezérs and winemaker Jake Steussy make musttastes like the Blue Victorian Charbono, Blue Victorian Syrah, Vezér ‘Cassie’ Petite Sirah, and La Salette Estate Petite Sirah. Forthcoming releases include Rosé (a blend of Mourvèdre, Zinfandel, and Black

Located 15 miles from Napa, Fairfield is a delightful locale to “savor the unexpected,” with a myriad of attractions including Suisun Valley, a diverse and unique wine Appellation producing world-class wines. Outdoor Bathtub at Bardessono

BEST OF 2022

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Jelly Belly Wine and Chocolate Experience

NVL side trip

Ron Lanza at Wooden Valley Winery

Vezér La Salette Petite Sirah Flight

Muscat), Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Tastings are available at Mankas Gardens, the Blue Victorian, and by appointment at the family’s ranch estate. // www.vezerfamilyvineyard.com

Valley wine country, with innovative events like disco and sommelier nights. One may even have the chance to try their hand at sabrage with a Japanese Katana sword. // www.suisunvalleywinecoop.com

SUISUN VALLEY WINE CO-OP

W H AT TO D O

The Suisun Valley Wine Co-Op is a perfect place to conclude a visit. Doug and Katsuko Sparks of Sunset Cellars opened the co-op in 2007, with winemaker Fah Sathirapongsasuti recently taking the lead and bringing his contagious excitement to the family business. It is home to three family-owned micro wineries, Sunset Cellars, Roger and Carol (Andrews) King’s King Andrews and Shale Peak Vineyards, and Matt Smith’s Blacksmith Cellars. Upon arrival, one can choose to soak their feet in a Japanese Ashi-yu (foot bath) or sit around a firepit while tasting wines that highlight each producer’s specialties and styles, such as Sunset Cellars Green Valley Estate ‘Afterglow’ Cabernet Sauvignon and Hydrangea Brut Rosé of Zinfandel, King Andrews Suisun Valley Albariño, and Blacksmith Cellars Marvin Vineyard Chardonnay. In addition, the producers often host tastings themselves. The Co-Op is the social center of Suisun

IL FIORELLO OLIVE OIL COMPANY Ann and Mark Sievers founded IL Fiorello Olive Oil Company to grow and mill awardwinning olive oil from their organic olive groves in Suisun and Green Valleys. In addition to milling their olives, they provide services to other producers on their state-ofthe-art Gruppo Pieralisi continuous milling system. IL Fiorello has a visitor center and tasting room where guests can reserve a comparative tasting of their vintage-dated, certified extra virgin olive oils, co-milled oils, and balsamic vinegar reductions accompanied by the chef’s food pairings, with an optional guided tour can follow. In addition, IL Fiorello teaches demonstration and hands-on culinary classes through their “Kitchen in the Grove” program, offers by-reservation annual events and private events, and has an olive oil membership option, The Grove Club. Suisun Valley wine tasting is also available. Their virtual olive oil tastings are an excellent way for nonlocal guests to remain connected after their visit. // www.ilfiorello.com

JELLY BELLY CANDY COMPANY

Il Fiorello Olive Oil Tasting

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Suite at Bardessono

A fun introduction to Fairfield is a visit to the Jelly Belly Candy Company’s world headquarters, where children and adults alike enjoy the deliciousness of its world-famous jelly beans, candies, and chocolates. The self-guided factory tour of jelly bean making

in action is a must-do. Along the way, there are engaging activities, games, and videos to pique one’s interest. In addition, Jelly Belly offers an optional Chocolate and Wine Experience for adults – non-alcoholic pairings for those under 21 – on the second floor in the Very Cherry Room featuring six Jelly Belly’s Chocolate Shoppe and Chocolate Confections paired with local Suisun Valley wines, plus a souvenir logo wine glass. Jelly Belly also has a retail store, the Chocolate Shoppe, and a café with limited indoor seating, outdoor seating, and takeout. // www.jellybelly.com

more to savor Heretic Brewery and Distillery www.hereticbrewing.com

Mangels Vineyards www.mangelsvineyards.com

Pioneer Taproom www.pioneertaproom.com

Rustwater Kitchen & Tap Room www.rustwater.co

Suisun Valley Filling Station and Visitor Center www.suisunvalleyfillingstation.com

Village 360 (BackRoad Vines, Buzz Coffee, The Landing) www.village-360.com


Wine tasting at Crown Point Vineyards Photo by Dan Miller


NVL real estate spotlight

BID to WIN

T

o say it is a new order for buyers in the world of real estate is an understatement -- and not for the faint of heart. But whether you are buying your first home or your fifth investment property, the stakes are high to get your offer accepted. Almost all viable properties are getting multiple offers, and buyers are entering into bidding wars where circumstances force them into writing offers with no contingencies just to stay in the running. Although it is a sellers-market, a good realtor will encourage their sellers to help streamline the process by having all their inspections done upfront. This allows potential buyers to view them all in advance so they are well informed and can make the best offer possible. Financing is a contingency that often can be outbid by cash offers, which are becoming more ubiquitous in this fastpaced real estate market, especially in Napa Valley, an attractive target for the Silicon Valley and surrounding Bay Area. If

in Today’s High-Stakes Real Estate Market

obtaining a loan, it is essential to have done pre-work with your lender, so it is easier to lift a loan contingency if necessary. Doing so makes the offer much stronger as both the loan and appraisal contingencies can be removed, making it as competitive as cash. A good plan of action is to ensure you have a good lender and realtor working together and recommending unique courses of action tailored for each situation because they are often different. Often buyers are in the process of selling their existing home when they find their next home to purchase. These days, having an offer contingency with the current home sale pending can often be a showstopper. A popular workaround is to obtain bridge financing. This solution allows a potential buyer to use cash from a lender to purchase their dream home while getting their present home ready for market, thereby allowing them to be competitive. It also reduces the added stress of selling and buying simultaneously.

The key factors contributing to this crazy market are the low inventory of available homes to buy coupled with lowinterest rates. If you are in the market to buy today and are lucky enough to have your offer chosen, it can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of the moment. After your offer is accepted, take the time you are allowed to read all your disclosures thoroughly. Homeowner documents sometimes present some surprises, as do unique, older properties or country estates with a well, septic system, or other unusual conditions. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, your licensed realtor is your consultant and there to guide you every step of the way. If you have any questions about the market, I welcome the opportunity to act as your consultant. Please don’t hesitate to drop me a line! . Tracy Warr // Napa Tracy Style Napa Valley Real Estate Specialist

My mother was a REALTOR®, I’m a REALTOR®, and my daughter is a REALTOR®, so you could say that real estate is in our blood. Having pursued this profession for more than 17 years, my passion for the Napa Valley began in 1985, when I bought my restaurant in Calistoga. While food and beverage hospitality allowed me to share my love of our Valley with visitors and locals, I have found that helping people sell and buy real property affords me the best opportunity to get more folks to fulfill their dreams experience their own Napa Valley passions. (707) 287-1994 // TWARR@CBNAPAVALLEY.COM // NAPATRACYSTYLE.COM // DRE# 01443203


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Limited Membership Opportunities Available.

INQUIRIES WELCOME | 707.603.3486 | jeannej@napavalleycc.com | www.NapaValleyCC.com


NVL real estate spotlight

“It’s much more difficult than you think. The market is hot, which is when they make the exam even more difficult,” Deborah said.

“ I love the details of helping people realize their real estate dreams while trying to take the stress out of the process, I love the relationships, and I get a lot of satisfaction from helping people.”

DEBORAH HANSON Loves Seeing Houses Become Homes  BY LAYNE RANDOLPH | PHOTO COURTESY OF DEBORAH HANSON

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s a salon owner, Deborah Hanson hit a crossroads only three weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic. “This was no joke,” she said. With salons either closed or held to super strict constraints on clientele, she knew she needed to do something fast. Luckily, Hanson and her husband, Ray Hanson, are successful serial entrepreneurs. He grows grapes on their family property and crafts Cabernet Sauvignon, Rosé, and Sauvignon Blanc under the label “Destiny Family Wines.” Ray also runs “Destiny Wine Tours.” In addition, the couple owns a mobile cocktail business, “Napa Valley Cocktail Company,” serving cocktails from

a 1929 American-La France Cosmopolitan fire engine at various locations and events. Deborah realized that the timing was perfect for doing something else she had always been interested in pursuing: real estate. “Some of my salon clients sought my recommendation for real estate agents. Given my interest and experience in real estate, I decided that I had the time to dive into it, start studying for my real estate exam, and be that agent.” She was up early for months, diligently studying flashcards to prepare her for the California Real Estate Exam. But, she explained, “I jump in with both arms and feet when I do something.”

Deborah sat for the exam in August 2021, and she passed it on her first try. She is now a Real Estate Associate with Realty One Group Fox, which gives her a solid foundation and support as she eases into the real estate world. She loves it. “I love the details of helping people realize their real estate dreams while trying to take the stress out of the process,” Hanson said, “I love the relationships, and I get a lot of satisfaction from helping people.” She believes her other businesses will blend well with her newfound real estate career. “I’m interested in the mechanics of successfully marketing and purchasing real estate. I have learned that every real estate transaction is unique, and a great amount of due diligence and communication is required to make the process seamless and without unpleasant surprises.” When she sold her first house in December 2021, she did not want a big celebration. Instead, she enjoyed a quiet dinner with her husband, and then she got back to work, a testament to her work ethic and commitment, two traits in which she prides herself. With her dedication to focus on her real estate business, a new real estate license in hand, and an agency to assist and support her, Hanson is optimistic and excited about the potential for the future. Her excitement is contagious. She summed it up with words that will likely soon become her motto, “I love seeing houses become homes!”

FOR MORE INFORMATION 707-888-0442 // deborahhanson.myrealtyonegroup.com // deborahhansonrealtor@gmail.com 102

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NVL artist spotlight

Photo courtesy of Vincent Connors

VINCENT

THOMAS CONNORS On a Roll with

TERRABALL  BY JESS LANDER

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hile most people spent the pandemic playing games to pass the time, Napa artist Vincent Thomas Connors invented one. Named TerraBall, the game is a unique cross between pool, shuffleboard, and golf and is a sort of silver lining from the 2017 fires when Connors lost his art studio at his family’s Carneros property, the famed Devaux Ranch. Connors considers himself an abstract artist who “treads the line between abstraction and representation.” He has a background in textile manufacturing and has worked with top designers in the industry. But, when he and his wife Rebecca decided to settle permanently in Napa, Connors decided to pursue his art full time. Most of his work focuses on landscapes because, as he said, “It’s hard not to be influenced by the landscape of Napa.” Some of his paintings can be viewed at the Heron House in Yountville. 104

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After the fire, Connors said they had to cut down some redwood trees that were burned and damaged, and for a while, he had a bunch of wood rounds lying around, just waiting to be repurposed into something new. Those and some wooden wine boxes were the humble beginnings of TerraBall, his first game. Picture a long pool table with green felt and raised wooden formations — called terraforms — that slope at different degrees and create obstacles on the course. There are two holes at each end of the table, one larger than the other. TerraBall is for singles (two players) or doubles (four players), and the game includes eight balls that players try to sink into the holes for points. One ball, the TerraBall, is the largest and worth more points than the others. The terraforms, of course, don’t make sinking them easy. “It’s not as intimidating as pool,” said Connors, who has handcrafted the TerraBall

tables himself via a lengthy research and development phase. “This game is straightforward to learn and really easy to play, and the more you play it, the more you figure out there’s strategy involved in it.”

“ It’s been a long time since shuffleboard or pool or darts came around, and I wanted to make something for everybody.” One of the most unique aspects of TerraBall is that literally, every single game can be different. The terraforms come in different shapes and sizes and are removable so that players can create a new course every time. Connors has even created a mini tabletop version of the game. “The whole thing was built off that idea of changing the modularity of it, being able to move it, switch things out, and have new pieces,” said Connors. “If you play a TerraBall table at one place and then go to a different place, there will be a different course everywhere you go.” TerraBall made its triumphant debut at Acumen Wine Gallery on First St. in downtown Napa in December, and Connors hopes to get more tables placed at restaurants, bars, tasting rooms, and pool halls. Tables are available for lease (for events or extended stays), and some early TerraBall adopters have already expressed interest in creating a Napa league. “People that are playing it are kind of taken aback,” said Connors. “They seem excited about a new kind of bar game. It’s been a long time since shuffleboard or pool or darts came around, and I wanted to make something for everybody.” While the abstract artist works to get TerraBall off the ground, he’s also already immersed in his next project, setting up two installations for the Napa Lighted Art Festival, which will run from January 15 through March 13. Connors will have a metal barrel hoop sculpture at Dwight Murray Plaza and a hanging lanterns installation on a cork tree by Compline on First Street. FOR MORE INFORMATION

www.terraballtables.com // www.vincentconnors.com


Bob McClenahan

photography

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bobmcclenahan.com


NVL shop local spotlight

in case smoke alarms sound in the middle of the night, and even creating voice activation for non-automated electronics. SOUND ADVICE has raised the bar beyond industry standards due to Halloran’s expertise and experience. Over the years, he has continued to understand what works and what is new and innovative in exemplary commercial and home entertainment systems. On his own, he has discovered device issues about which manufacturers were unaware, which has resulted in responsive and quick resolution such as software updates and other fixes for SOUND ADVICE and others who sell similar equipment and services. Manufacturers respect Halloran’s knowledge and persistence in relaying this vital information to them.

SOUND ADVICE

“ We sell toys to grownups.”

Hear and See What is Possible  BY ELIZABETH SMITH

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avid Halloran founded SOUND ADVICE in 1995 with a passion for high-performance audio, video and control systems. The company’s name also has a story. “I created SOUND ADVICE to be catchy, but not corny. We are frequently complimented on how the company's name is considered clever and concise,” said Halloran, who has extensive audio, video, and networking background. During the past 26 years, he has grown the business into one of the most respected audio, visual, and networking integrators in Napa Valley.

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David Halloran, Sound Advice

SOUND ADVICE consults with individual clients and home builders who want to add or install home theaters, as well as those that need to upgrade their televisions, speakers, or overall sound system. The company also has factory-authorized and trained integrators of the finest audio, home theater, lighting control, motorized shading, network, and home automation equipment in Napa and Sonoma Counties. “We sell toys to grownups,” Halloran said as he spoke about their motorized blinds that open and close with one’s voice, lights that illuminate

In 2021, Napa’s Ace and Vine Restaurant and Casino selected SOUND ADVICE as their preferred audio and video installer and integrator. The company installed 20 flat-screen televisions, over 60 security cameras, and 50 Origin Acoustic in-ceiling speakers to create the locale’s welcoming, premium sound and vision experience for diners, sports enthusiasts, and casino players alike. Other notable commercial clients include Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, Napa Valley Country Club, and Silverado Veterinary Hospital. Home theater clients include Napa icons like Jack Daniels, co-founder of Wilson Daniels; Giovanni and Donna Scala, proprietors of Bistro Don Giovanni; and Paul Halata, retired CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, to name a few. SOUND ADVICE builds long-lasting relationships by designing intelligent systems that are easy to use and supporting them with outstanding service, which assures value and enjoyment for years to come. By maintaining these strong relationships with leading architects, home and commercial builders, and repeat clients, the company consistently proves its credentials to engineer and install a wide range of systems for even the most discerning needs, experience, and budget. SOUND ADVICE is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. PM. The staff answers and returns all calls, and they respond to emails within one business day.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

2053 B Lone Oak, Napa // 707-477-5585 // soundadvicenapa@compcast.net


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1040 Main Street, Suite 105, Napa, CA 707-690-2028 www.whirlwindblowdry.com

You Don't Have to Settle For Less! Senior Helpers' new 24/7 in-Home Virtual Care Support enables for easy & affordable round-the-clock care for your loved one.

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NVL money & wealth

Have You Saved Enough for Future Health Care Costs? Over their longer lives, women spend far more on health care than men.1 These tips from Bank of America can help you cover the costs at every age.

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hen it comes to health and financial wellness, there is one thing women could plan to do: “Save more for future medical costs,” says Nevenka Vrdoljak, a director for the Chief Investment Office, Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank. Consider this number: $194,000.2 “That is how much more, on average, women end up spending on health care in retirement, largely because they tend to live longer than men and are more likely to have multiple chronic conditions and require long-term care,” Vrdoljak points out. In fact, women are faced with significantly higher annual health care costs throughout their lives,3 she adds. “That is why it is so important for women to carefully plan to cover their present and future medical expenses.” Working together with your financial advisor, you can estimate your future health care costs and develop a strategy for covering them as you grow older. Below are some tips and strategies to consider at various stages of your life.

WHEN YOU ARE A YOUNG ADULT Make wellness a habit. “Be sure to take advantage of the health and wellness programs your employer offers. When you are considering job offers, pay special attention to the benefits like maternity and paid family leave,” says Vrdoljak. Being proactive about your health early on can help avoid complicated, costly medical issues later on. Thankfully, the rise of telemedicine means that

seeking preventive care, both mental and physical, takes less time out of your busy schedule. At the same time, apps, mobile devices and smart watches can help prompt you to stay fit. Consider funding a health savings account (HSA). If you sign-up for a high-deductible insurance plan, you are eligible to save a certain amount each year for your health care costs in a tax-free HSA. Funds that are not used right away grow tax-free and can be used for

Long-term care insurance coverage contains benefits, exclusions, limitations, eligibility requirements and specific terms and conditions under which the insurance coverage may be continued in force or discontinued. Not all insurance policies and types of coverage may be available in your state. This material should be regarded as educational information on health care and is not intended to provide specific advice. If you have questions regarding your particular situation, you should contact your legal and/or tax advisors. The case studies presented are for illustrative purposes only and intended to demonstrate the capabilities of Merrill and/or Bank of America. They are not intended to serve as investment advice since the availability and effectiveness of any strategy is dependent upon your individual facts and circumstances. Solutions presented are not appropriate for everyone. Results will vary, and no suggestion is made about how any specific solution or strategy performed in reality. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, and Member SIPC. Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc. (“MLLA”) is a licensed insurance agency. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of BofA Corp. Investment products offered through MLPF&S, and insurance and annuity products offered through MLLA.: © 2021 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. | MAP3855863 | WP-12-21-0008.B | 472503PM-0421 | 12/2021 108

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Are Not FDIC Insured

Are Not Bank Guaranteed

May Lose Value

Are Not Deposits

Are Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency

Are Not a Condition to Any Banking Service or Activity


medical expenses anytime in the future.

Keep saving — even during years away from work. Many women take time off to take care of children, which can have an impact on their retirement savings and Social Security payments down the line. “If your spouse is working, having them contribute to a spousal IRA could help you continue to build up money retirement savings sense during periods spent at home,” says Vrdoljak. “It is also important to consider whether you have sufficient life and disability oney sense income insurance,” she adds.

Take advantage of catch-up savings. The more you have saved for retirement, the better prepared you will be for future health care costs. So now is a good time to get serious about maxing out your contributions. Starting at age 50, you can contribute an additional catch-up amount to many accounts.

WHEN YOU’RE CLOSE TO — AND IN — RETIREMENT

Keep your fitness routine going. Research has shown that engaging in physical exercise as you age can help keep your body and your mind in optimal problems and how to say no — if family members shape, turn toreducing you forhealth financial support. — and expenses — both in the AS YOU MOVE 6 present and down the road. INTO MIDLIFE a position to provide it. Yet the “Finances in develop a basic philosophy that applies to Review your everyone. asset allocations. Exploresurvey caregiving resourcRetirement” found that few respondents Explain that this philosophy helped Set up time to with your If youtoare taking primary had es. budgeted be able to help family members yourtalk family build its wealth and that any loan or advisor about your retirement responsibility or helping care of $6,500 financially, despite giving an average gift decisions will be made based on your core readiness, including ability for an elderly loved one, be nt clientannually experience and communication, Merrill to family. “We create budgets for such values, your such as a strong work ethic, pride and health care aware of theorimpact that things as travel shopping, socould why not to for manage future self-sufficiency. If you’re dreading the prospect costs. Will you have aenough have on your well-being. family giving?” asks own Bill Hunter, Retirement of refusing request, prepare your reasons cash on handbeforehand for ionally,Client approximately •surveyed Start saving retirement andmedical take soemerHalf of caregivers by & for Experience, Director, Strategy Solutions that you can explain them Do unemotionally. you on have incomeCenters for Disease Control of gencies? at Bank of America. When you can’t We affordwork to give,with our clients, their families and ults with athe retirement advantage having longevity producing ear- for your decision. and Prevention aContribute outline the reasons dy made an early your side.how employerHunter advises that you reported determine much to aninvestments health care team to develop a plan of care. care costs? e decline in both and marked for health can commit to thisphysical purpose without When a family business is involved, notes marily you to cover debt. sponsored savings plan such as a 5 mentalyourhealth. Familiarize disrupting retirement planning and current Schmieder, it’s possible that your relatives don’t Think beyond Medicare. 401(k) — at least at a level that meets yourself with any counseling derstandably concerned living needs. When you have that figure, Although understand company’s financial limitations. approach to care coordination Medicare the helps • Concierge any company match. and your stress reduction e consider other priorities.benefits Are there any everyone instance, that dren’s wellbeing and handle many“Not costs, it does may not be aware, for • Non-medical in-home care yourchanges employer or insurance you may needtotoyour make in order company owners have an obligation to reinvest cover everything. You are still portinglifestyle them financially. • Talk local Merrill advisor, who • toExperienced California registered home care aides coverage offers. to keep tough times? theirpremiums profits intoand their businesses maintain for amount spentgiving by to family during can assist withresponsible putting together a • Meal planning and preparation MostConsider important, before you give, be sure to set growth,” he says. Use this opportunity to explain copays, and long-term care, long-term r earlyaside adult an children is your plan to helpto pursue your goals. emergency fund for yourself help that the company’s profits aren’t a ready source care needs. 2Long-term care vision and dental care gener• Medication reminders er $500 billion annually. ensure that youpremiums will have a generally comfortable cushion gifts or loans. ally are notforincluded under insurance • Light housekeeping and pet care For more information, contact in retirement. Beyond r entirely begin grow older, traditional Medicare. As you consider each request, it’s always n’t bleak,toasrise theas youMerrill • Transportation to errands or appointments Lynch Financial Advisor answering your questions 3. Set firm guidelines saying yes. Decide in important to about remember that gifts or loans to but there are for other options ly adults (72 percent) Eric F. Gonzales in the • impact Additional personalized care for clients in advance under what circumstances Medicare, your advisor can help family members will have a direct on to consider as well. Talk withyou would benefit from financial congregate living facilities CA,money. feel comfortable oralending retirement planning. There might be an you compareyour available Medigap your advisorgiving aboutNapa, range ofoffice is some advice to “If you’re to makeat a gift of the fifth rule, says Hunter: of and palliative care and Medicareunwritten Advantage health ways going youearly might prepare for money, 707.254.4606 • “Beware Hospice heir pursuit of financial thinklong-term about using thecosts. occasion as a teaching being overly generous, or you could end up care insurance plans. or eric_gonzales@ml.com. • Dementia care moment,” suggests Hunter. Without sounding needing financial help yourself.” • Assistance with bathing, walking or preachy or judgmental, try to explain to your ick to relative a budget. howTrack you’ve put yourself in a position to transferring, dressing, incontinence care provide this your expenses, andassistance. Have you kept your debt control, for instance, or lived within your sg whereunder you can make means or avoided high-interest credit cards? Locally owned by Kim Geis, to fund your goals. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. “For young adults in the1 family, this could be a owner of Hearts that Matter for 20 + years! FOR MORE INFORMATION “How Does Student Debt Affect Early Career lesson,” he says. ur debt.valuable Pay high-interest, Contact Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Retirement Saving?” 2018. , “If youfirst expect paid2 Age back, create loan ctible debt (e.g., Ericto F. be Gonzales inWave/Merrill the Napa,aCA office Lynch. “Theat Financial Journey of document,” recommendsParenting: Joeeric_gonzales@ml.com. C. Schmieder, 707-254-4606 or and then other non-tax Joy, Complexity and Sacrifice,” 2018. of the Family Business CALL US FOR A FREE IN-HOME bt (e.g.,principal an autoconsultant loan).Health Publishing, Harvard vs. Venus: The Gender August, 2019. information, Age Wave For more contact Consulting Group. This may“Mars include details on Gap in Health,” and Merrill, “Women & Financial Wellness: Beyond the Bottom Line,” 2018 I nfographic: “Barriers to Care ASSESSMENT Services, Experienced by Women in the Unitedwill States” Family Foundation, June,Merrill 2019 HealthView howsuch frequently repayments beKaiser made and Lynch Financial Advisor ngencies as health “Addressing the Women’s Longevity Gap,” September 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whether interest will charged. theIssue,” family Eric Gonzales in the Scientific Reports, “Physical “Caregiving for Family and be Friends — A Public If Health July 2019 Nature Activity asin a Determinant of Successful Aging Over Ten Years,” July 2018 member has asked you to invest a business, Napa, CA, office request a business plan or other formal details at 707.254.4606 on how the money will be used. “It’s important HOME CARE LICENSE #284700010 BEST OF 2022 109 or eric_gonzales@ml.com. that the recipient understands your terms,”

re You the “Family Bank”?

t of Happiness: Financial Independence

A PARTNER IN CARING We Care When You Need It The Most

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of our signature burgers. A fun spot to meet up with friends or enjoy a meal with the whole family! 1122 First Street, Napa, CA 94559 707--812--6853 | jaxwhitemulediner.com

NVL dining guide

AMERICAN SOLBAR RESTAURANT Solbar divides its menu into light, delicate flavors to stimulate your palate and bold, savory dishes, all with ingredients that showcase the best of what’s fresh and seasonal in the Napa Valley. Enjoy outdoor dining on the sunlit Solbar patio, or the new Picobar, for dining al fresco or relaxing by the firepits overlooking the landmark pool. 755 SILVERADO TRL, CALISTOGA // 707- 226-0860 // AUBERGERESORTS.COM

AMERICAN

TARLA - True to our namesake, the Tarla Grill aims to yield nourishing, creative, and culturally eats originating from Turkeynewest and Greece, lands heralded forfeatures their FIRST &exciting FRANKLIN Downtown Napa’s Marketplace and Deli cuisine and a culture that takes pride in the relationship between mankind and the the best of the Napa Valley. The Marketplace offers a full-service deli and a land! We take our responsibility of ensuring the origins of our ingredients seriously specialty Grocery Store selling local wine and craft beer. The store is filled with and pride ourselves on using local, seasonal and organic fare whenever possible.

grab-and-go or made-to-order sandwiches, salads, and picnic side salads for

you to home enjoy on either of their two patios. 1480 1sttake St, Napa, CAor 94559 707-255-5599 | www.tarlagrill.com

1331 FIRST ST., NAPA // 707-252-1000 // WWW.FIRSTANDFRANKLIN.COM

JA PA N E S E

I TA L I A N CA' MOMI OSTERIA Providing the Napa Valley with an obsessively authentic Italian experience, Ca' Momi Osteria serves up locally-sourced organic ingredients featured in their historic Italian recipes, certified pizza Napoletana and garden to glass cocktails. Ca’ Momi Osteria also offers tastings of Ca’ Momi Napa Valley and Italian wines plus late night live music each weekend.

EIKO’S - Eiko’s delivers imaginative twists on traditional Japanese cuisine. Our vision EIKO'S Delivering a modern, imaginative twist on traditional Japanese cuifor the menu combines modern and authentic traditional Japanese cuisine including sine, Eiko's menu includes seasonal, fresh sustainable fish and ingredients deseasonal, fresh sustainable fish and ingredients delivered daily from our local markets livered daily from local markets andraw purveyors. In addition to traditional and purveyors. In addition to traditional fish preparation, our chefs creates a raw fish preparation, their chefs createbyaour selection of innovative dishes featuring inspired selection of innovative dishes inspired local culture and taste profiles by local culture and profiles featuring Napa as influence and inspiration. Napa as influence and taste inspiration.

1141 FIRST STREET, NAPA // 707-224-6664 // WWW.CAMOMI.COM

1385Napa NAPA TOWN CENTER, NAPA // 707-501-4444 // WWW.EIKOSNAPA.COM 1385 Town Center, Napa, CA 94559 707-501-4444 | www.eikosnapa.com

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SOUTHSIDE CAFÉ Southside is a community-centered café and coffee bar with three locations: Carneros, Yountville, and Century in South Napa. They serve a chef-driven menu of authentic California cuisine with a Latin influence, specialty coffee from Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, and beer & wine from friends in the Napa Valley. Open for breakfast, lunch, and Century is also open for dinner.

PIZZERIA TRA VIGNE For the past 25 years, Pizzeria Tra Vigne reigns one of St. Helena's local treasures. Guests of all ages enjoy the pasta, pizza, or a fresh daily special to go at this vibrant, family restaurant. Their pizzas are a crowd favorite to eat in or carry out. There's plenty of seating outdoors on the beautiful patio, complete with a bocce court, or inside with family and friends.

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS // WWW.SOUTHSIDENAPA.COM

1016 MAIN ST, ST. HELENA // 707- 967-9999 // WWW.PIZZERIATRAVIGNE.COM

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MEXICAN

I TA L I A N

C CASA Offering reimagined Mexican cuisine, C CASA features fresh food crafted with nutrient-packed ingredients sustainably sourced. Handmade tortillas are made from 100% USA grown, non-GMO, organic white corn. C CASA offers a modern and fine casual approach to tacos, salads, quesadillas and rotisserie meats. And everything is 100% Gluten Free! Vegetarian/Vegan offerings available.

FILIPPI’S PIZZA GROTTO For over 15 years, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto has been one of Napa Valley’s favorite Italian restaurants among locals and visitors alike. Best known for its extensive pizza menu, their dinner entrées include traditional Italian favorites such as Veal Scaloppini, Eggplant Parmigiana and Linguini with Clam Sauce. Soups, sandwiches and gluten-free options are also on the menu.

OXBOW PUBLIC MARKET // 610 1ST ST., NAPA // 707-226-7700 // MYCCASA.COM

635 FIRST ST, NAPA // OXBOW DISTRICT // 707-254-9700 // REALCHEESEPIZZA.COM

AME R I CA N

AMERICAN

NAPA PALISADES SALOON Located in downtown Napa, Napa Palisades is a local gourmet grub pub serving American comfort food with a twist. Their full bar serves up their own Napa Palisades Beer Company house brews, over 30 local craft beers and many guest taps. They boast 16 big screen TV’s, weekend brunch and a popular happy hour.

GRILLE 29 Nestled in Embassy Suites Napa Valley, Grille 29 offers a casual, friendly space ideal for a business lunch, after work drinks or dinner with the family. The tall rustic ceiling with chandeliers, sofa seating and beautiful oak bar add an old-world charm to the intimate dining room and lounge. Enjoy delightful entrees using fresh products and herbs grown from its very own garden!

1000 MAIN ST, NAPA // 707-492-3399 // WWW.NAPAPALISADES.COM

1075 CALIFORNIA BLVD., NAPA // 707-320-9520

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THE GRILL AT SILVERADO A one-of-a-kind Napa Valley restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and bar appetizers, The Grill at Silverado features Wine Country Cuisine, emphasizing fresh and sustainable products. Just minutes from downtown Napa, the Grill overlooks one of the most beautiful golf courses on earth and offers a respite from the daily routine for everyone who visits.

NAPA NOODLES Eiko’s sister restaurant, Napa Noodles, is an Asian Pacific Rim-style restaurant that fuses the delicious taste of Asian noodles with Napa Valley cuisine. Specialties include house-made noodles, savory soups, slow-roasted meats, seasonal salads, duck, flavorful rice dishes, Asian beers, Sake, and local wines.

1600 ATLAS PEAK RD, NAPA // 707-257-5400 // WWW.SILVERADORESORT.COM

1124 FIRST ST, NAPA // 707- 492-8079 // WWW.NAPANOODLES.COM BEST OF 2022

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NOW Ascend, City Ventures’ new townhome community, is in Novato’s vibrant Hamilton Field. This area, consisting of neighborhoods, parks and protected wetlands, is closely connected to San Francisco and Oakland via the SMART train & Larkspur ferry. Nearby, popular shopping centers like Vintage Oaks, restaurants and lots of hiking trails provide the ever-desirable town & country lifestyle. A community garden, bocce courts and play area round out this new community. Schedule a tour today! 1,737 - 1,875 Sq. Ft. | 3 - 4 Bedrooms | 2.5 - 3.5 Baths From the High $800,000s CityVenturesNovato.com Ascend@CityVentures.com | 802 State Access Road, Novato, CA 94949 | 415.214.4689 All renderings, floor plans, and maps are concepts and are not intended to be an actual depiction of the buildings, fencing, walkways, driveways or landscaping. Walls, windows, porches and decks vary per elevation and lot location. In a continuing effort to meet consumer expectations, City Ventures reserves the right to modify prices, floor plans, specifications, options and amenities without notice or obligation. Square footages shown are approximate. Broker/agent must accompany and register their client(s) with the onsite sales team on their first visit to the community in order to be eligible for any broker referral fee. Please see your Sales Manager for details. ©️2022 City Ventures. All rights reserved. DRE LIC # 01979736.